Health Department refuses to disclose specifics on travelers under quarantine
News 6 asked how many travelers have been contacted, FDOH won’t answer
ORLANDO, Fla. – For more than a week News 6 asked the Florida Department of Health four questions.
1. Are passengers arriving from the New York area quarantining? Are drivers arriving from the New York area or New Orleans quarantining? How do you know for sure?
2. How many have you called and/or conducted wellness visits?
3. How many answer the phone when you call?
4. How many have you not been able to contact?
Over the course of a week, News 6 emailed those questions six times to the Florida Department of Health's dedicated news media email address, Florida Department of Health Director of Communications Alberto Moscoso, and Florida Department of Health spokesman Kent Donahue.
The FDOH was tasked by Gov. Ron DeSantis to enforce his emergency order requiring travelers from the New York-area and New Orleans arriving by plane and car to self-quarantine for 14 days.
After the emergency order, the FDOH began collecting contact information forms from travelers, including names, phone numbers, and addresses.
On Monday, the FDOH said it collected more than 5,200 traveler information forms at the Interstate-10 and Interstate-95 checkpoints and more than 13,200 forms at Florida’s airports.
On Tuesday, the FDOH replied to News 6's specific questions with the same information and ignored the questions.
An FDOH spokesperson said once the form is submitted, the information is "aggregated into a system which allows the state to check in with individuals to ensure they are feeling well and are self-isolating."
But even after repeated email inquiries, the FDOH would not tell News 6 how many travelers it has checked-in with.
On April 7, Moscoso replied that he was "working on this and will advise soon."
On April 10, Moscoso wrote that he was "checking on this."
After that, Moscoso did not respond.
On April 8, Donahue wrote that he was "working with Alberto on your questions."
After that, Donahue did not respond.
On Tuesday, DeSantis said he thinks the requirement to self-isolate has been "effective."
“We’ve screened almost 20,000 people coming from the New York-area and New Orleans... and the requirement to self-isolate, I think it’s been effective,” DeSantis said. “I think that was the right thing to do and it has been effective and I’m glad we’re able to do it.”
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