coronavirus illinois

Illinois Not Planning to Require Visitors From COVID Hotspots to Quarantine, Pritzker Says

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut said they will implement a mandatory quarantine on visitors to their states from viral hotspots

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With other states implementing a mandatory quarantine on visitors from viral hotspots, Gov. J.B. Pritzker says such a move isn't being planned for Illinois, but he didn't rule it out for the future.

The governor said guidance from health officials and scientists has not yet indicated such a move is necessary in Illinois, as cases have continued on a downward trend.

"That's not something that we are looking at implementing right now," he said. "Going forward, if we got the advice to do it we might."

Chicago is set to enter phase four of its reopening plan Friday, easing restrictions even further and allowing larger gatherings to take place.

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut said Wednesday they will implement a mandatory quarantine on visitors to their states from viral hotspots, part of a coordinated effort to sustain low local infection rates as coronavirus cases surge to two-month highs across nearly half of the country.

The quarantine applies to people coming from states with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents on a seven-day average, or with a 10% or higher positivity rate over seven days.

As of Wednesday, states over the threshold were Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas.

"New York and New Jersey and Connecticut have been through an awful lot," Pritzker said. "Really a tragic, tragic situation and I can understand why they might feel a need when they see other places on the rise and they're actually keeping the rates down."

Illinois is set to move into its fourth phase of reopening Friday, though officials, particularly in Chicago, have expressed concern over spikes in cases for some U.S. states.

“The data continue to show that we’re making progress and we’ll be ready to move into phase four later this week,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a statement. “However, we still have a lot of COVID-19 cases here in Chicago; we’re just now moving from a high-risk to a medium-high-risk city for COVID-19 spread, based on our numbers, and we need to move ahead cautiously. I can’t emphasize enough the need for people and businesses to continue to abide by the public health guidance so we can avoid the spike in cases we’re seeing in other cities and states that re-opened before us.”

The next few weeks are critical to tamping down the disturbing coronavirus surge, Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress on Tuesday — issuing a plea for people to avoid crowds and wear masks.

Troubling surges worsened Tuesday in several states, with Arizona, California, Mississippi, Texas and Nevada setting single-day records for new coronavirus cases, and some governors saying they’ll consider reinstating restrictions or delaying plans to ease up in order to help slow the spread of the virus.

Another worrisome trend: an increase in infections among young adults. Fauci said while COVID-19 tends to be less severe in younger people, some of them do get very sick and even die. And younger people also may be more likely to show no symptoms yet still spread the virus.

About 2.3 million Americans have been infected and some 120,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

NBC Chicago/Associated Press
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