Updated Sunday 11:48 a.m.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump ultimately decided against an unprecedented quarantine of New Jersey on Saturday evening, but the CDC did ask residents of New Jersey to avoid non-essential travel for two weeks.
Trump considered placing the entire state of New Jersey – along with with New York and Connecticut – under quarantine, cutting them off from the rest of the United States to non-essential travel.
“I’m thinking about that right now. We might not have to do it but there’s a possibility that sometime today we’ll do a quarantine,” President Trump told reporters at Saturday’s White House COVID-19 press availability. “Short-term, two week on New York, probably New Jersey and certain parts of Connecticut.”
The three states comprising the tri-state area combined for well over 60,000 confirmed COVID-19 positive tests as of Saturday morning, over 50% of the total U.S. caseload.
It’s unclear what a full quarantine of the state would have involved and the White House did not elaborate; presumably, travel in-and-out of state would be limited to official personnel, first responders/medical professionals, and possibly critical supply shipments (e.g. supermarket tractor trailers and gasoline transport tankers).
New Jersey’s number of positive tests stood at 11,124 on Saturday afternoon.
The state had also suffered 140 deaths.