Chicago Watching Wisconsin ‘Closely' Again for Possible Addition to Travel Order, City's Top Doctor Says

The city's travel order is evaluated every Tuesday, with any changes taking effect the following Friday

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Chicago health officials are watching Wisconsin "closely" to potentially add the state to the city's travel order requiring a 14-day quarantine again, the city's top doctor said Tuesday.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a Facebook live video that the city was watching Wisconsin because they're "trending up" in the metrics the city considers when revising its travel order.

"We're watching Wisconsin closely because they're trending up a little bit again and we'll be keeping a close eye on that," Arwady said when discussing the city's travel order, which was updated again Tuesday.

Chicago's list dropped to 21 states as the city updated the order, adding Kentucky but removing California and Puerto Rico.

Wisconsin was removed from the quarantine list on Aug. 18. It was added to the list effective July 31, though the city noted exemptions for some people who worked over the border.

The city's travel order is evaluated every Tuesday, with any changes taking effect the following Friday.

States are added to the list if they have "a case rate greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 resident population, per day, over a 7-day rolling average." If they fall below that threshold, they could be removed as well.

Chicago's travel order first began on July 6.

The states currently included are: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

Arwady said travelers entering or returning to Chicago from "states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases" will need to quarantine "for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state." Essential workers could be exempt from the quarantine requirement, however, as long as their employer certifies their work in writing.

The order is set to remain in effect until further notice.

New York and New Jersey are also asking visitors from several states, including Illinois, to quarantine themselves for two weeks.

Still, outside of Chicago, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state likely won't require residents who travel to and from neighboring states to quarantine for two weeks solely because of that travel.

But Illinois' Department of Public Health on Monday did release a "travel map" indicating which states are a "higher risk" for travelers.

The state's map uses the same criteria as Chicago's travel order for determining the states that are deemed to be an increased risk.

“Travel may increase the chance of becoming infected and spreading COVID-19,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “To help inform residents where they might be at greater risk of being exposed to COVID-19 when they travel, IDPH has launched a map that clearly shows states and other countries where case rates are elevated. While staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, we know that it may not be possible to avoid all travel. We encourage people who are traveling, whether for work or otherwise, to check out the map before making plans.”

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