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Delaware Gov: The Police Will Start Pulling Over Out-of-State Drivers

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Delaware is under a stay-at-home order. It remains in effect until May 15. Yes, businesses will suffer, jobs will be lost, and economic activity will be grounded to a halt. But that’s everywhere. This Wuhan coronavirus outbreak has delivered a lethal gut punch to the U.S. economy, one that warranted a $2 trillion bailout package for American enterprise. Over 270,00 Americans have been infected by this disease, with over 7,000 dying from it. It’s highly contagious and no one is immune. Yes, the usual suspects, the immunocompromised and the elderly are the most susceptible to death if they contract the virus, but young people can get sick too and some have already been killed by it. It’s a very random disease. Some will have mild symptoms. Others will be asymptomatic, which is the scariest element as they can spread it to others without them knowing it, especially on surfaces. The Wuhan virus can live on some surfaces for up to three days.

Yet, to curb the spread, Delaware is empowering its police to pull over out-of-state drivers and usher them into self-quarantine for two weeks (via ABC6):

A modification to Governor Carney's State of Emergency Declaration due to the coronavirus outbreak now gives troopers in Delaware the authority to pull over out-of-state drivers.

Delaware State Police say Carney's order "authorizes any Delaware law enforcement officer to stop a vehicle driving within the state simply because it is displaying out-of-state tags."

This authorization does not apply to vehicles traveling on I-95, I-295, or I-495.

During the stop, troopers may ask limited questions related to the driver's recent travel.

The driver will be advised that if they are coming into Delaware from out-of-state, they are required by law to self-quarantine for 14 days while in Delaware or immediately return to their home state, according to news release.

Troopers will be monitoring non-interstate roadways which have been identified

as having a large volume of out of state travelers, authorities said.

There are limited exceptions that allow for out-of-state persons and vehicles to enter Delaware without being required to self-quarantine, including:

•  Motorists may pass through Delaware en-route to other states.

• Motorists may leave their home state (PA, NJ, MD, etc.) to work for a Delaware designated essential business, to care for a family member in Delaware, or for healthcare reasons (pharmacy, going to vet, visiting PCP) in Delaware.

• Out-of-state employees who work for an essential business in Delaware but who could otherwise do their work from home should remain home.

Out-of-state visitors who fail to self-quarantine could face criminal charges, officials said.

It’s a drastic measure. In the Hamptons, the locals are dealing with rich Manhattanites willingly bringing the Wuhan virus into the area, increasing class tensions. The issue at the heart of this is New York City. It’s ground zero for the U.S.-based outbreak, with nearly half of all cases coming from the Big Apple. Rhode Island’s governor has already ordered the state's law enforcement and National Guard to pretty much stop all New York drivers and check summer residences to ensure these people are self-quarantining for two weeks. No doubt governments will be abusing their power during this outbreak. We’ll see who files the first legal challenges. You know they’re coming.

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