Some New York-area passengers slipping through cracks of Florida’s mandated quarantine
Department of Health monitoring some, not all passengers
ORLANDO, Fla. – Two weeks after Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered all passengers arriving at Florida’s airports from the New York area amid the coronavirus pandemic to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine, News 6 discovered some of those passengers slipped through the cracks.
News 6 called five passengers who were given contact information forms when they walked off their plane from New York at Orlando International Airport.
Four of those passengers answered and said they were feeling fine and had, for the most part, quarantined -- with the exceptions of going to work and visiting stores.
[RELATED: Florida governor: New York travelers must self-isolate under executive order, persons 65 years or older told to stay home | Gov. DeSantis: Rapid tests, travel checkpoints now part of Florida’s fight against coronavirus]
All of the passengers said the health department had not contacted them at all in the past two weeks.
The reason, they believe, is because no one collected the contact information forms. In fact, they said they ended up taking the forms home with them.
They were among the first passengers to arrive at OIA after the governor issued his executive order. At that point, the Florida Department of Health had not yet placed workers at the airport to collect the forms. In the days following the order, the FDOH put workers at arrival gates to collect completed forms, under the supervision of the Florida National Guard.
Since then, officials with the Health Department said they have collected 10,700 forms from passengers arriving at Florida airports from the New York area.
"The forms are collected and sent to dedicated staff who log the contact information and regularly follow-up with the individuals to not only verify that they are complying with the self-quarantine order, but also to do a wellness check-in and to see if they are experiencing symptoms," a spokesperson for the Joint Information Center on COVID-19 for the State of Florida said in a statement to News 6.
But the FDOH did not say how many people have been spoken to, how many are quarantining or how many cannot be contacted.
A spokesperson said he "will advise soon."
The fifth passenger News 6 attempted to contact was unreachable, as the phone number he had written on the form was disconnected.
OIA officials said 25 flights arrived with approximately 440 passengers from the New York area and Louisiana on Monday.
Twenty-two flights are expected Tuesday.
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