Illinois' public health department on Monday released a new map for residents highlighting which U.S. states are the highest risk for travelers.
The map aims to "help inform residents of potential risks associated with traveling during the pandemic." The states and countries listed as "higher risk" are based on case rates, according to IDPH.
Locations with an average daily case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 residents are marked as an increased risk. As of Monday, U.S. states included Idaho, Nevada, North Dakota, California, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.
Globally, only the U.S., Brazil, the Bahamas, Israel, Kuwait, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Suriname were listed.
“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.”
IDPH emphasized that airports, bus stations, train stations, and rest stops are among places where people may be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces.
"The more people you come into contact with, for longer periods of time, the greater your risk of infection if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19," IDPH said in a release.
Officials urged anyone who is traveling to avoid traveling while sick and to also "think about the destination."
"It is also important to think about needed precautions for moving through bus, train, or airport terminals, check-in and security lines, as well as the actual bus, train, or plane ride," the release stated. "Remember to take precautions when stopping for gas, food, and bathroom breaks when traveling by car or RV and as you interact with others and frequently touched surfaces."
The criteria for "higher risk" states mirrors Chicago's and Cook County's current travel order, which requires anyone entering or returning to the city or county from such states to quarantine for 14 days.
The announcement comes as state officials also announce new restrictions for an Illinois region seeing increased coronavirus numbers.
Health officials in Illinois confirmed 1,773 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, along with 12 additional deaths related to the virus.
According to new data from the Illinois Department of Health, the state’s total number of coronavirus cases during the pandemic has now risen to 207,854.
Monday's 12 additional deaths bring the state’s death toll from the virus to 7,756 total fatalities.
According to officials, a total of 38,246 new tests were performed over the last 24 hours, bringing the statewide total to 3,405,097.
Monday's new test results bring the state’s 7-day rolling positivity rate up by one-tenth of a percent, from 4.1% to 4.2%, according to newly available data.