Chicago Travel Advisory: City Adds 2 States Back to List as COVID Cases Rise

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Chicago updated its travel advisory Tuesday, adding two states back to the list advising anyone entering the city to test negative for COVID-19 or quarantine upon arrival, as the U.S. continues to see a rise in coronavirus cases.

Missouri and Arkansas were both added to the travel advisory after several weeks with no states on the list, the Chicago Department of Public Health said in a statement.

Recent increases in COVID metrics in the states pushed both over the threshold of 15 cases per day per 100,000 people to get onto the list.

"Any unvaccinated people traveling from Missouri or Arkansas are advised 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. "CDPH continues to stress the importance of getting vaccinated for COVID, and adherence to all masking guidelines for travel."

CDPH said data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows "COVID case rates have been steadily increasing in other areas of the country," highlighting Nevada, Louisiana, Utah, Wyoming, Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands as states at risk of passing the threshold "if trends continue."

“The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and this only goes to show that the virus is still very much a threat and that we must all remain vigilant against it,” CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a statement. “That means getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public settings if you are not fully vaccinated.”

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

The update to the travel advisory came one week after Arwady hinted that there would be "two or three" states that were likely to go back on the list due to their surges in COVID metrics.

The addition of Missouri and Arkansas on Tuesday happened two weeks after Chicago turned the emergency coronavirus travel order into an advisory after no states were on the list requiring travel restrictions for the third consecutive update.

CDPH announced on June 29 that in more than a month, no state had reached the 15 cases per day per 100,000 residents threshold, which would be the "orange" tier in which unvaccinated travelers are required to quarantine or provide a negative COVID test upon arrival in the city.

The last time a state had reached the orange tier was May 18, the department said, with all U.S. states and territories remaining in the less restrictive "yellow" tier of the travel order until Tuesday.

The travel order shifted to an advisory as a result, but it will continue to be reevaluated every other Tuesday and the city said the emergency guidelines can be reinstated at any time "if significant surges are seen in any state."

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