The city of Chicago on Tuesday added four states, including bordering state Indiana, to the city’s emergency travel order requiring a 14-day quarantine.
Chicago health officials added Indiana, North Carolina, Rhode Island and New Mexico, the city said in a press conference Tuesday.
The travel order now covers 25 states and territories: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, 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.
Health officials in Indiana reported 1,569 new cases of coronavirus Tuesday, along with 27 additional deaths attributed to the virus.
For the eleventh day in a row, Indiana on Monday broke its own record for average daily new coronavirus cases.
Students, and people who usually travel to Indiana, are exempt from this order, along with people needing medical care and parental shared custody.
Chicago’s travel order, which began on July 6, is evaluated every Tuesday, with any additions taking effect the following Friday.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady talks about the main goal of the city’s travel order.
Last week, Chicago health officials added Alaska to the list and removed Georgia and Texas. Two weeks ago, health officials added Kentucky, Wyoming, Texas, and Nevada to the list, with Wisconsin added three weeks ago.
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.
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.”