After martial law was declared, Quarantine Zones were set up by FEDRA and the military to protect the remaining uninfected population of the United States by separating them from the infected. Over time, most of these zones fell to the infection, local uprisings by the inhabitants, or were simply abandoned after running out of supplies. At least a few remain operational, with the authorities still in control. In other cases, Quarantine Zones have been converted into bases by groups such as the Fireflies, Washington Liberation Front, and Hunters.
The Zones are generally located at strategic positions in each city, including the waterfront in Boston, high ground accessed mainly by a few bridges for Pittsburgh, and the local hospital for Salt Lake City. Other important factors would include the availability of military resources and the presence of a sizable refugee population.
Known Quarantine Zones
- Albuquerque (Military-controlled in 2038, FEDRA, and the military were battling the Ravens in the area).
- Atlanta (Last reported operational and military-controlled; during the Pittsburgh uprising, military communications were being made to high-ranking officers in Atlanta)
- Boston (Operational, military-controlled)
- Chicago (Fate unknown)
- Dallas (Fate unknown; was Firefly-controlled pre-2030)
- Denver (Last reported operational and military-controlled; a helicopter piloted by Captain Regan and her crew from the 4th Infantry Division crashed at the Colorado Mountain Plaza while returning to this QZ)
- Detroit (Fate unknown)
- Hartford (Abandoned, implied by Sam to be Hunter-controlled.)
- Kansas City (Destroyed; the whole city was reportedly bombed by the military three weeks after the QZ was established because of an outbreak among the zone populace)
- Las Vegas (Fate unknown, however Ellie mentions in her diary that there are thousands of Infected within))
- Los Angeles (Fate unknown. Riley, perhaps jokingly mentions saving up for a vacation there)
- Pittsburgh (Abandoned by the military, now Hunter-controlled)
- Providence (Fate unknown)
- Portland (Fate unknown)
- San Francisco (Fate unknown, although the Firefly biologist came from there, suggesting that it is controlled by the Fireflies)
- Salt Lake City (Abandoned, formerly partially Firefly-controlled with the local hospital once serving as the main base of Firefly operations)
- Seattle (Abandoned roughly ten years after the Outbreak, now WLF-controlled)
- Springfield (Fate unknown)
- Woods Hole (Fate unknown)
During the interim twenty years between the prologue and the main game, the Fireflies, the militia group demanding the return of a democratic government, have staged both successful (Salt Lake City) and unsuccessful (Pittsburgh) uprisings against the Military's control of the Quarantine Zones. Others have been abandoned by the Military due to a lack of resources or population to protect. Those still in the hands of the military are heavily protected by armed forces, as seen in Boston.
Atlanta is possibly an operational quarantine zone. During the later stages of the Pittsburgh uprising, a Colonel in the Atlanta QZ had command over Pittsburgh's remaining forces. This suggests that some high-ranking military officers in Pittsburgh had relocated to Atlanta during the uprising. Therefore, Atlanta was presumably more stable than other zones at the time, and it may still be standing.
By 2033, Boston is the most well-known operational quarantine zone. The city is still heavily guarded by a sizable military force 20 years after the outbreak. The military has increased security in Boston (including more checkpoints) to prevent the Fireflies from gaining a foothold in the city. There are still cases of infection that occur in the city, but the authorities often cover them up and downplay the actual amount. In the city, there are also attacks committed by Fireflies. Boston can be considered a safe place in comparison to other QZs, since it wasn't a total warzone most of the time. By the end of the game, the Fireflies withdrew from Boston after a long series of losses. Many survivors also attempted to sneak into the Zone, with some becoming infected along the way.
The status of the Chicago QZ is never stated explicitly. The Fireflies were recruiting there when the University of Eastern Colorado lab was functional. If it was operational at the time, these Firefly recruits would have likely been civilians from the QZ. However, it may have been abandoned, with the Fireflies simply recruiting local survivors and sending them west.
The Firefly sentry from the University of Eastern Colorado mentioned veteran Fireflies returning from this zone. This suggests that fighting between Fireflies and the military occurred there. It is possible that the veteran Fireflies recently defeated the military in Dallas. However, the Fireflies there may have abandoned their efforts, as the same Sniper's Nest Log mentions a supply dump returning from the same QZ.
Denver is possibly an operational Quarantine Zone, given the 4th Infantry Division was stationed there at the time of Captain Regan Francis' departure. Relatively recently, a military helicopter from the Denver QZ crashed into the Colorado Mountain Plaza while returning to the Zone. The situation in Denver must have been relatively stable, considering the military could afford to send one of their helicopters on a rescue mission a good distance from the Zone.
Hartford was known to have been becoming more and more unstable, with the zone being in the midst of falling apart. In the Boston QZ, people there often talked about the situation in Hartford. Desperate refugees from Hartford were starting to try to enter Boston, often while infected. Hartford was later confirmed to have been abandoned by the military, seemingly making it the most recent Quarantine Zone to have collapsed.
Pittsburgh was abandoned by the military after a civilian revolt that lasted 14 months and occurred roughly 4-5 years before the events of the game, judging from the presence of skeletons. The citizens of Pittsburgh became angry about the shortage of food, and suspicion that rations were being withheld. Though, after the uprising, these citizens eventually degraded into the hostile survivors known as Hunters. The citizens now patrol the city regularly in search of other survivors ("tourists") to hunt down and kill for supplies. The hunters attempt to clear buildings of infected, in addition to guarding the entrances and exits to the city. This makes Pittsburgh similar to an operational QZ, albeit one that is controlled by hostile survivors and not soldiers.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City was occupied by the Fireflies about 10 years into the outbreak and it is currently run by the group. However, it seems that they only patrol inside and nearby the hospital so, unlike Pittsburgh, they have not managed to clear the city of infected to allow them to control the whole city.
Seattle was once a Quarantine Zone that the military and FEDRA personnel controlled. Around 2024, a terrorist group known as the Washington Liberation Front (WLF) began fighting against their control, sparking a guerilla war. The WLF began recruiting people into their militia, promoting the idea that they could achieve a better life in the city. The military initially stopped admitting new residents into the Zone and began expelling or executing those who committed crimes. They also carpet bombed a significant portion of rebel-held territory to clear out the WLF and Infected. The WLF staged a final offensive on the last military convoy leaving the city, killing FEDRA officers. The military then abandoned the zone around 2029 as a result of the war. By 2038, the WLF and Seraphites control portions of the large QZ.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Abandon Zone Note
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The Quarantine Zone
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Snipers' Nest Log
- ↑ Salon Note
- ↑ Ellie's journal entry while in Santa Barbara
- ↑ Mallrats
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Pittsburgh (chapter)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The Firefly Lab
- ↑ Seattle Day One
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Near the high school in Lincoln, evacuation buses can be found with banners for Springfield, Woods Hole, Hartford, and Boston
- ↑ See here
- ↑ The Fireflies bomb a checkpoint and engage in a heavy firefight with them shortly after
- ↑ Note to Brother
- ↑ Crew Photo
- ↑ Winston wrote to his surperior, mentioning the influx of survivors from Hartford and how many were infected. Two others discussed a man trying to get in with fake papers.
- ↑ Sam and Henry left Hartford due to the chaos. See the Warning Note for more information.
- ↑ Graffii mentioned it all over the walls
- ↑ Several men stake out the highway, waiting to bait passerbys by feigning injury
- ↑ Many constantly mention looking for Infected and two seen killing a Clicker
- ↑ Neil Druckmann explains the WLF, Scars and more (Accessed 21th of March, 2020)
- ↑ WLF Target List
- ↑ Join WLF Note (Downtown)
- ↑ See Seattle Day 1 (Ellie)
- ↑ Lt. Torres' Final Memorandum