$1,000 Fine for Connecticut Official for Visiting Son in Oklahoma Prior to Deployment

$1,000 Fine for Connecticut Official for Visiting Son in Oklahoma Prior to Deployment
A nurse dressed in personal protective equipment prepares to give a COVID-19 swab test at a drive-thru testing station in Stamford, Conn., on March 23, 2020. (John Moore/Getty Images)
Tom Ozimek

A Connecticut selectwoman said in a statement that she and her husband face a $1,000 fine for violating the state's COVID-19 travel restrictions after visiting their son in Oklahoma ahead of his first military deployment.

Amy St. Onge (R), first selectwoman of Thompson, said in a post on Facebook that, on Labor Day, she and her husband traveled to visit their son, who was training at the Air Force base in Altus, Oklahoma. After they returned to Connecticut, they received a notification that they had broken state rules relating to travel during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus outbreak.

“We will be fined $1,000 for not filling out the travel documents, quarantining or having a COVID-19 test,” her Facebook post read.

According to Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont's executive order (pdf), anyone who enters the state must complete a travel health form, self-quarantine for 14 days, and submit to a COVID-19 test, with local officials being exempt from the requirement to self-isolate if they traveled to an affected state for official business.

The requirement to self-isolate "includes any state, local, and federal officials and employees traveling in their official capacities on government business. If such worker was in an Affected State or an Affected Country for a reason other than work (e.g., vacation), such worker shall be required to self-quarantine."

Lamont's order imposes a fine of $500 per violation for instances of refusing or failing to submit a travel health form or for not completing one truthfully, or for refusing or failing to self-quarantine.

St. Onge wrote in her post that, “first and foremost this was not a ‘pleasure’ vacation. It was a trip to visit my son who is set to deploy overseas,” and added that she was "not aware that Oklahoma was on the list of restricted states."

"I know ignorance is no excuse," she wrote, adding that "I am willing to pay the fine. I would accept a fine of 5 million dollars if it meant I could hug my son prior to his deployment."

She told the Daily Caller that she believes the fine for not filling out travel documents, which require disclosure of a range of personal information, is unfair.

“These are travel advisories, these are suggestions on how you can stay safe. I don’t believe it fits the entire population,” she told the publication. “I don’t think it’s the government’s business to know what I’m doing, or where I’m going. If we allow the government to do this, to violate our personal rights this way, what’s going to happen next? What’s the next thing they’re going to do?”

“I think the deeper issue is that the state shouldn’t have the right to tell you to quarantine. I don’t think they have the right to tell us we need to go get a COVID-19 test,” she told the Daily Caller. “It’s a violation of my body, and it should be my own choice to make decisions based on my own God-given common sense.”

St. Onge told WTNH News that, while she should have checked whether Oklahoma was on Connecticut's travel advisory list, she believes the restrictions are an example of government overreach.

“I knew that I probably should have checked for the list,” she said. “I feel very strongly that government is overstepping. I think they’re doing things that are unconstitutional.”

As of Sept. 22, there were 35 states on Connecticut's travel advisory list. The criteria for selecting Affected States are ones with a positive case rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10 percent positivity rate, according to a seven-day rolling average.
Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.
Related Topics