Chicago to Update COVID Travel Advisory as Cases Continue to Rise

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Chicago is set to update its travel advisory Tuesday, detailing which states will be on the list advising anyone entering the city from those areas to test negative for COVID-19 or quarantine upon arrival.

Last week, the city added three more states - for a total of five states and one territory - back to the advisory, which will be updated each week moving forward, rather than every two weeks as it was earlier this year when case rates and other coronavirus metrics were lower.

Florida, Louisiana and Nevada, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands were added last Tuesday as all 50 states see a rise in coronavirus cases, the Chicago Department of Public Health said in a statement.

The week before, Missouri and Arkansas were both added to the travel advisory after several weeks with no states on the list. Both states remained on the advisory last week.

Recent increases in COVID metrics pushed those newly added states over the threshold of 15 cases per day per 100,000 people to get onto the "orange" list. Any below that mark are on the "yellow" list, with public health officials still warning against non-essential travel.

CDPH last week shared the rates in each state on the list, as well as Illinois and Chicago, as of the update and from the previous week:

StateRate per 100K Residents – 7/20/21Rate per 100K Residents – 7/13/21
City of Chicago3.32.7

"Unvaccinated individuals traveling from the states or territories on the Orange list are advised – not required – to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago or quarantine for a 10-day period upon arrival," CDPH said. "Vaccinated individuals are exempt from the Advisory, which will be updated weekly going forward."

CDPH said earlier this month that data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows "COVID case rates have been steadily increasing in other areas of the country."

The update to the travel advisory comes at a time when the average daily number of new cases in Chicago are up to 165 per day - a 76% increase over the previous week.

The city's average daily case rate was at 90 per day last week and 41 per day the week before that, meaning it's quadrupled in roughly three weeks - though it is still significantly lower than the more than 700 cases per day the city was seeing earlier this year and last, before vaccines were widely available.

Hospitalizations in Chicago are up 5% from last week, while deaths are down, and the positivity rate in testing is up to 2.6% as of Tuesday, up from 1.5% last week and 1% the week before.

“We remain well below our peak rates, but these recent increases are concerning,” CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said last week. “But what we have said all along hasn’t changed – if you want to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community, get vaccinated.”

Arwady noted earlier this month that about 99% of new COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths are among unvaccinated individuals.

The travel advisory will be updated every Tuesday moving forward, with any changes taking effect the following Friday.

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