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Social distancing matters. Here is how to do it and how it can help curb the COVID-19 pandemic. USA TODAY

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Travelers leaving the New York metro area should self-quarantine for 14 days to make sure they aren't passing on the coronavirus, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force said Tuesday.

In making the recommendation, task force coordinator Deborah Birx said that the quarantine should apply even to those who aren't showing symptoms. She said many travelers are headed to locations outside New York City, from Long Island to North Carolina or other states.

Brix said 56% of all the coronavirus cases in the United States, as well as 60% of all new cases, are coming from the New York metro area. Greater New York City also accounts for 31% of deaths in the country.

The recommendation follows an order that took effect Tuesday by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis requiring anyone flying to Florida from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Alaska and Hawaii are also requiring anyone arriving from other states to self-quarantine.

Already, New Yorkers have been ordered to stay in their homes and the city has virtually shut down in an effort to quell spread of the virus.

President Donald Trump characterized New York as a COVID-19 "hotspot."

“We have to deal with the NY metropolitan area as a high-risk area,” said Vice President Mike Pence, adding the infection rate is 1 in 1,000.

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Contributing: Associated Press

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