A Connecticut selectwoman alleged on Facebook that she and her husband are facing a fine of $1,000 for violating the state’s coronavirus travel restrictions.
Amy St. Onge (R), first selectwoman of Thompson, posted to Facebook that, on Labor Day, she and her husband Jason left home to visit their son Caleb, who is training at the Air Force base in Altus, Oklahoma, and preparing for his first deployment.
Upon the parents’ return, St. Onge said she received an email from the State of Connecticut informing her that she and her husband had violated Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive orders regarding travel during the coronavirus pandemic.
St. Onge said:
A complaint was filed against Jason and I with regard to our travel to Oklahoma to visit Caleb. We will be fined $1000 for not filling out the travel documents, quarantining or having a COVID-19 test. First and foremost this was not a “pleasure” vacation. It was a trip to visit my son who is set to deploy overseas. It had been almost a year since our last visit and we may not see him for another year or more! Jason and I took precautions during our travel. We purchased first class tickets to avoid people, wore masks, avoided large crowds. Not difficult to avoid crowds since Altus is a small city of just 18000 people and there was not much to do there anyway. We enjoyed time with our son, period.
St. Onge said they spent “NO time in Oklahoma City,” where a spike in coronavirus cases has been reported.
“I was not aware that Oklahoma was on the list of restricted states,” she continued. “I know ignorance is no excuse. 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. That’s where I stand on this issue.”
St. Onge told WTNH News the state’s Travel Advisory Team informed her a complaint had been filed against her for not following Connecticut’s travel restrictions.
“When you have a child who’s in the military and you know they’re going be overseas, seeing them and hugging them is more important than anything,” said St. Onge. “She did tell me that we would most likely be receiving notification of a fine and that would be five hundred dollars for each of us.”
Brian Maynard, commander of American Legion Post #13, also told WTNH, “I think whether the fines are imposed or they’re not imposed, you would be hard pressed to find somebody who wouldn’t have gone to see their son or daughter before they deployed.”
Maynard and others in Thompson expressed support to St. Onge after she posted her experience to Facebook.
“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.”
According to Connecticut’s Department of Public Health, as of September 22, 35 states and areas are restricted for travel due to higher positive coronavirus test rates. Travelers from those locations must either self-quarantine for 14 days or have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of arrival in Connecticut.
Those who fail to submit a Connecticut Travel Health Form or to self-quarantine could face a fine of $500 per violation.
St. Onge told the Daily Caller she and her husband plan to file an appeal.
“I think the deeper issue is that the state shouldn’t have the right to tell you to quarantine,” she said. “I don’t think they have the right to tell us we need to go get a COVID-19 test. 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.”
Lamont recently released his 70th executive order related to the coronavirus by announcing fines of $100, which can now be issued by non-police officials, to violators of his mask mandate.