Updated 9 am, Saturday*
In the latest effort to combat the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, Gov. Charlie Baker is telling all travelers arriving in Massachusetts to self-quarantine for 14 days.
“Starting today all travelers arriving in the commonwealth are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days,” Baker said.
Even before the governor’s press briefing, Tisbury put up its own signage near the Steamship Authority and was authorized by police and the SSA, Kirk Metell, the town’s director of public works, said. The sign flashes “new arrivals stay home 14 days.”
In an email to The Times, SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll wrote that the SSA offered the town space on their property to put up a message board.
“The board and message are [the town’s]. The timing in relation to Gov. Baker’s announcement today is coincidental, but fortuitous,” Driscoll wrote.
Speaking at a press conference Friday, Baker also asked people, especially those with symptoms, to not travel to the state. Earlier this week, the governor pleaded with seasonal residents not to return to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket to “ride out the virus” following a similar plea by hospital CEOs on the Islands who fear their hospitals will be overwhelmed.
It comes as cases in nearby Barnstable County reached 100 confirmed cases, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Statewide there are 3,204 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — an 823 case increase since Thursday and 10 new deaths have brought the state total to 35. As cases rise across the state, the Vineyard has reported two confirmed cases. The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital reported one patient who was hospitalized has since been discharged and has gone into self-quarantine.
People entering the state will be given fliers instructing them about the 14-day quarantine. Fliers will be handed out at major transportation hubs like Logan Airport, South Station, and Worcester Airport.
“Drivers will also see these fliers in rest stops on the turnpike and on road side message boards that will display the message instructing travelers to quarantine,” Baker said. “We’re taking extraordinary steps here to keep out residents safe.”
Baker said the request was to protect the health and safety of everyone.
“At the same time, we should also be thinking about the potential impact of travelers visiting Massachusetts from other places,” he said in part. “Further, we’re asking folks considering traveling to Massachusetts for whatever reason, do not travel to our communities especially if you have symptoms.”
Baker also said surrounding states are advocating for people to stay at home and to stop the spread.
Updated to include current confirmed cases, and to change headline from “must” to “should” to more accurately reflect the governor’s statement. — Ed.