East TN women share impacts of new coronavirus travel advisories

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — We’re hearing from two local women, both impacted by new coronavirus travel advisories after the deaths of their loved ones out of state.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that people traveling from several states, including Tennessee, must self-quarantine for fourteen days. New Jersey and Connecticut also put similar advisories in place.

Some in East Tennessee are personally affected by the new restrictions. WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Elizabeth Kuebel heard their stories. They are now no longer able to go to burials and services for their family members out of state.

“It wasn’t entirely unexpected, although it was disappointing,” said Stephanie Flanagan.

“It’s devastating, and I understand the reasons why not being able to travel, our numbers are incredibly high right now, where their numbers are going down due to the practices that they’ve been doing in the state,” Marci Clevenger said.

Both women are now unable to travel to the Northeast, where each of them have close family members being laid to rest.

“We had my mom’s burial planned for Connecticut and Maine, and so I won’t be able to attend,” Clevenger said.

“I had an uncle who passed away about a month ago, and they had to put off his memorial service in New York because of their situation with COVID, and now that their requirements have been lifted a little bit, they’re planning a memorial service for him and now we can’t attend,” said Flanagan.

Finding themselves in similar situations, the two women also have similar messages.

“Please consider wearing a mask when you’re out in public. If not for yourself, then for the others that you encounter, the employees that have to be there for you,” said Flanagan. “If we had been wearing our masks and socially distancing like we were supposed to, this quarantine from New York may not have happened.”

“Listen in to what they’re telling us. Wear the mask. It’s very simple to protect us and others around us,” Clevenger said.

The advisory includes travel by train, bus, car, plane or any other type of transportation, from states with increasing rates of COVID-19. Right now, sixteen states meet that criteria.

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