By MICHAEL DONOGHUE
Islander Staff Writer
The State of Vermont has begun tracking out-of-state motorists entering the state and is warning them about the 14-day self-quarantine directive issued by Gov. Phil Scott.
Agency of Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn of South Hero told The Islander this morning that it is not an enforcement effort, but rather a fact-finding mission.
He said the idea was generated as part of the State Emergency Operations Center, a unified command center that is in place in Vermont to try to deal with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
AOT employees were monitoring traffic this morning at three sites in Grand Isle County: They are: the Lake Champlain ferry crossing in Grand Isle, and at the bridge connecting with the state of New York in Alburgh. A third AOT employee was parked near the international border in Alburgh.
The vehicles had signs indicating the purpose of the driver inside.
“I am an employee of the Vermont Agency of Transportation, and I am counting vehicles at this crossing,” a sign on AOT stationery says in part.
The AOT employees were charting the travelers by state.
A large AOT roadside flashing sign tells drivers arriving in Vermont they need to self-isolate for 14 days if they are staying in the state.
Flynn said 29 travel routes into Vermont along the borders with Canada, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire were being monitored by AOT as of today.
He said he expected that number to increasing over the next 36 hours – possibly doubling.
The monitoring is being done at high traffic sites, including one at the exit to the Burlington International Airport in South Burlington.
The monitoring, which is until further notice, is 24-hours around the clock at each site, Flynn said.
Gov. Scott is scheduled to have a news conference this morning.
The Islander will update this story later today.