The city of Chicago on Tuesday is set to update its emergency travel order requiring a 14-day quarantine, with Indiana likely to be added to the list.
A medical personnel member administers a rapid antigen coronavirus test at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens near Miami, on August 5, 2020. – In one of two state-run locations, Hard Rock Stadium is now offering rapid testing with same-day results, with testing available for kids ages 5-17 and those 65 or older, or those who are experiencing symptoms. 1,250 free tests will be available per day at the two state-run sites. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
Last week, Chicago health officials removed two states, Georgia and Texas, added Alaska and placed Indiana on a “warning list” to likely be added the following week.
The travel order currently covers 22 states and territories: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Travelers entering or returning to Chicago from “states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases” will need to quarantine “for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state” under the order, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady says. Essential workers could be exempt from the quarantine requirement, however, as long as their employer certifies their work in writing.
States are added to the list if they have “a case rate greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 resident population, per day, over a 7-day rolling average.” If they fall below that threshold, they could be removed as well.
The city warned that Indiana has surpassed the threshold for inclusion and will be added to the list next week if the state cannot bring down its daily average number of cases. It was not added this week to “allow residents enough time to plan travel to this border state,” the city said.
Chicago’s travel order, which began on July 6, is evaluated every Tuesday, with any additions taking effect the following Friday.
Wisconsin was one of several locations added to the order last month.
Arwady said before adding Wisconsin that the state was “currently in very poor control when it comes to COVID,” adding that the state had more than double the 15 average daily cases per 100,000 residents that is the threshold to be named on Chicago’s travel order.
That number has continued to climb, as has the positivity rate, sitting at 19.1% as of Monday.
Under the Chicago travel order guidelines, those traveling to or from Wisconsin for work and those traveling through the state for travel will not need to quarantine, Arwady said. Those traveling to the state for leisure, however, even for less than 24 hours, will need to quarantine, she said.
The order is set to remain in effect until further notice.
New York and New Jersey are also asking visitors from several states, including Illinois, to quarantine themselves for two weeks.
Still, outside of Chicago, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state likely won’t require residents who travel to and from neighboring states to quarantine for two weeks solely because of that travel.
But Illinois’ Department of Public Health did release a “travel map” indicating which states are a “higher risk” for travelers.
The state’s map uses the same criteria as Chicago’s travel order for determining the states that are deemed to be an increased risk.
“Travel may increase the chance of becoming infected and spreading COVID-19,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “To help inform residents where they might be at greater risk of being exposed to COVID-19 when they travel, IDPH has launched a map that clearly shows states and other countries where case rates are elevated. While staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, we know that it may not be possible to avoid all travel. We encourage people who are traveling, whether for work or otherwise, to check out the map before making plans.”