HOUSTON - If you have travel plans in the near future, we want to make sure you know that there are still mandatory 14-day quarantines after traveling to nine different states.
Houstonian Bob Snyder had to unexpectedly travel to Chicago for the funeral of his beloved father-in-law on April 26. He and his wife had no idea what they'd be coming home to. They were given a mandatory two-week quarantine order and given stern warnings not to have visitors or leave their home.
"When we got to the gate, the really disconcerting thing was we came off the plane. There were DPS troopers, probably six troopers I'm going to say, to greet 30 passengers coming off the flight and pulling each one of us aside, sort of, demanding to see our papers,” he said. They had filled out questionnaires at the airport in Chicago. “They took the information papers from us. I heard one of the troopers remind someone of the penalty, which apparently is $1,000 fine or 180 days in prison or both, and just kind of reminded everybody that you're under mandatory quarantine for the next 14 days. So our date that we're released is actually next Wednesday, May 13, and we'll be allowed to be away from our house," explains Bob.
So far, no one in his family has shown any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, which is a big relief.
"No symptoms at all and now with our family, our sons who flew back to DFW, and essentially the same thing happened with them. We were just unaware that there was this level of enforcement being imposed by the DPS," states Bob.
They were also told that they could and would do spot checks, but that hasn't happened yet.
"We haven't had a call and we haven't had a spot check, although the paper clearly says that could happen and honestly at this point, we'd almost welcome it because we'd like someone to see that we're perfectly healthy, and it feels like we're under house arrest. With what else is going on in Texas right now, with the opening of businesses and a number of people out doing whatever, and all we did was fly out of O'Hare Airport. We were never even in the City of Chicago, all of our activities were in the west suburbs, and the closest we got to Chicago was the airport, but here we are. That has never happened in this country in my experience, anyway. In fact, I said to one of the troopers, I cannot believe we're doing this in a free society, and he said, I understand, and that was the only comment," explains Bob.
Bob is looking into whether the quarantine can be lifted, but as of right now, it still falls under Governor Greg Abbott's order, all in place to help spare the Houston community from anyone who has traveled to a so-called "hot spot", so that COVID-19 doesn't further spread in the Houston area.
The quarantine has been lifted for those traveling to Texas from Louisiana, but it is still in place for anyone traveling here from the states of: California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Washington and the cities of: Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Miami.