NEW YORK — All eyes have been on New York City as the it has become the epicenter for the United States’ novel coronavirus outbreak. With roughly 8.5 million residents, NYC had nearly 22,000 cases and 281 deaths as of Thursday, March 26, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that anyone leaving the greater New York City area should self-quarantine for 14 days following their exit from the city. With that statement, there have been concerns among the trucking industry regarding drivers’ safety in this area.
“When we issued the self-quarantining guidance for greater New York City residents leaving this area, it was out of an abundance of caution to help protect U.S. areas with lower levels of COVID-19 spread,” the CDC said in a news release March 26. “In line with our recommendations for other essential critical infrastructure workers, this guidance does not apply to critical transportation and delivery workers who are desperately needed for New York residents to continue their daily lives and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Truck drivers and others who drive into the city are instructed to stay in their vehicles as much as possible as supplies are loaded and unloaded, avoid being within 6 feet of others as much as possible when they exit their vehicles, and move to electronic receipts if possible, the statement continued.
“If these drivers need to spend the night in the greater New York City area, they should stay in their hotel rooms or sleeper cab, when available, to the extent possible and continue to practice social distancing,” the release continued. “Drivers who take these precautions should not need to self-quarantine when they leave the greater New York area, unless self-quarantine is recommended by state or local officials for all residents in the areas where they live.”
Truck drivers and other workers who live in the greater New York area may continue to work both within and outside of the greater New York area but should stay at home and practice social distancing when they are not working, according to instructions from state and local officials.