Chicago residents experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus are now required to stay home in an effort to stop the disease, city officials announced.
The requirement is part of a public health order signed by Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady.
Under the order, any resident diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms cannot leave their place of residence, go to work or attend any group settings. Sick residents will be allowed to seek "essential services," such as clinical care and obtaining medicine or food.
“During this unprecedented crisis, we must move quickly and in the best interest of the public. Restricting the movements of those who have COVID-19 or who are symptomatic is the best way to prevent the virus from spreading further,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “We are implementing today’s order to ensure a precise and data-driven response to the trends of this illness and, following recommendations by our City’s public health experts, believe that these heightened measures are necessary to contain the virus and protect our residents. We must be all in this together, and people who are sick must stay home to protect themselves and the public.”
The new rules will remain in effect until CDPH "makes a written determination that the threat to public health posed has diminished." Anyone who violates the order could face citations from CDPH, officials said, though they did not specify what those citations would include or how they would be enforced.
“This move may seem severe to some but in this highly evolving situation it’s absolutely what we need to do at this time as we work to contain this outbreak,” Arwady said in a statement. “We’ve been working daily for well over two months now with our partners at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on tracking this virus and assessing its course, using data to inform our decisions and following the science. This is the right thing to do in this moment.”
Symptoms included in the order are:
- acute respiratory disease
- new onset of fever (100.4 degrees)
- shortness of breath
- congestion in the nasal sinuses or lungs
- sort throat
- body aches
- unusual fatigue
A person is considered to have the illness until they are free of the above symptoms without use of "symptom-altering medicines" for at least 72 hours.