For the second time in less than two months, the state of Illinois has reached the point in its average number of new coronavirus cases where it would theoretically be included on Chicago's emergency travel order requiring anyone entering the city from more than a dozen states to quarantine for 14 days.
Public health data shows that the 7-day rolling average number of new cases in Illinois, including Chicago, stood at 15.7 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people as of Monday.
States are added to Chicago's Emergency Travel Order order 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.
Theoretically, the city of Chicago could require Illinois residents from outside to quarantine when entering city limits. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago health officials have consistently said that would never happen, but it appears the state - and the city as well - continue to have concerns about rising cases.
On Aug. 19, the 7-day rolling average number of new cases in Illinois stood at 15 new cases per 100,000 people, initially marking the threshold for inclusion on the travel order.
While new cases are on a steady rise statewide, that's not the situation in the city of Chicago.
On Monday, city leaders announced plans to ease some of the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus, allowing indoor bar service again and raising capacity limits on businesses, including restaurants.
"The restrictions that we're lifting today, we're excited about because they mark progress," Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago's Department of Public Health Commissioner, said at a news conference. "But we will continue at the health department to track all eight... indicators. If we start to see things heading in the wrong direction...we might have to go backwards."
With the new guidelines being issued, it's worth noting that while the city has seen a small rise in recent coronavirus cases, Chicago is doing much better than the state of Illinois as a whole, on many levels.
As of Monday, the city of Chicago was logging 12 new daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 citizens - still high, but not nearly as high as the state's figure of 15.7 new cases for every 100,000 residents.
Statewide, new daily deaths have increased slightly over the past several weeks, while in the city of Chicago, new daily deaths have not increased as of Monday.