Authorities successfully stopped a New York, man who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, at the Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) on Friday — a direct result of the orders issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
The National Guard successfully stopped the man, who arrived in Jacksonville from a New York City airport. According to reports, he had previously tested positive for the coronavirus but thought he had recovered enough to travel. However, his symptoms returned. Authorities stopped him at an airport checkpoint, and he was transferred to a hospital. Those who were seated near him are reportedly being treated by the CDC, according to News4Jax.
While the Florida governor has refrained from issuing a statewide stay-at-home order, he has taken aggressive action to curb the spread of the virus by targeting travelers fleeing coronavirus hotspots, which now include New Orleans and New York City.
Several major Florida airports are carrying out DeSantis’s order. Travelers hailing from virus hotspots are stopped by the Florida National Guard and Florida Department of Health for a screening and informed of the mandated 14-day quarantine.
Airports conducting these screenings, in addition to JAX, include the Miami International Airport (MIA), Orlando International Airport (MCO), Tampa International Airport (TPA), Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
“I don’t have the ability to shut down flights,” DeSantis stressed. “I think it’s an issue when you have people leaving hot zones and coming to different parts of the country.”
DeSantis has also ordered a checkpoint along the Florida-Alabama state line as an effort to divert those fleeing the virus hotspot in Louisiana.
“Initially I was concerned about doing this, because I don’t want there to be a backup,” DeSantis told reporters on Saturday.
“But they’re doing it in a great way where the trucks are going through. We’re not worried about that. We’re just worried about the people fleeing some of those areas,” he added.
Another checkpoint has been installed along I-95 South, screening travelers from New York Tri-State area.