While Chicago officials say they have decided not to put the state of Indiana on their travel restriction list, they are still urging residents to be cautious when visiting the Hoosier state as coronavirus cases continue to increase.
Speaking during an event Tuesday, Dr. Allison Arwady, director of the Chicago Department of Health, said that while Indiana has crossed the city’s threshold for inclusion on the travel advisory, the decision was made to hold off on adding the state to that list.
“Just last week they had been very low, and weren’t even on the watch list, as they had fewer than 12 cases per 100,000 residents,” Arwady said. “(So) we made a decision not to add it this week.”
Arwady says that Chicago officials believe there were multiple factors at play in the rapid rise in cases in the state, including Indiana’s decision to report antigen-positive tests in its coronavirus numbers.
The return of students to several Indiana universities was also viewed as a factor in the increase in cases.
“You see up north where South Bend and Notre Dame (are), they’re adding hundreds and hundreds of cases in a single week,” she said. “Similarly in the area where Ball State University is, there were a few hundred new cases, and it’s driven their rates up too.”
Even with those factors in mind, Arwady did caution that Indiana is still seeing growth in cases in numerous parts of the state, leading Chicago to keep a close eye on its neighbor.
“Indiana may very well be added to Chicago’s travel order next week,” she said. “I certainly want to let Chicagoans know that we have concerns about Indiana, and particularly would like to encourage you not to travel to college and university towns there.”
Arwady says that officials hope to avoid including Indiana on the travel restriction list, but that next week’s data will go a long way toward determining whether or not the Hoosier State will be included.
Under provisions of the travel order, Chicago residents traveling to or from states listed on the order must quarantine for 14 days upon their return to the city.