Illinois Meets Threshold For Chicago's Travel Order, But City Not Requiring Quarantine

"Chicago has decided not to institute restrictions on Illinois," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said

Illinois should be on Chicago's travel order, but the city won't be requiring a quarantine within the state, public health officials said Tuesday.

"Chicago has decided not to institute restrictions on Illinois," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said.

As of Tuesday, Chicago was seeing an average daily case rate of 12.6 cases per 100,000 residents, Arwady said. Illinois, meanwhile, was at 15.9.

While she noted the city considered county-by-county restrictions, "realistically we didn't feel it made sense to enforce any quarantine restriction in Illinois."

"None of us in Illinois are really in a place to brag at the moment," she said.

Arwady said she would still avoid travel within the state as much as possible.

"We are not imposing any travel restrictions, but we want to highlight people who are traveling through Illinois to pay special attention to wearing masks," she said. "If there is not need to travel, the recommendation would be not to travel."

The city's travel order was updated Tuesday, removing Arizona and North Carolina from its quarantine list and adding South Dakota.

In addition, Kansas dropped below the threshold to be on the city's quarantine list, but will need another week of declining numbers to be officially removed, health officials said.

As of last week, the list stood at 20 U.S. states and territories. On Tuesday, 19 remained.

Chicago’s travel order was updated once again Tuesday with three states being dropped from the list of places of the city requires a quarantine from.

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 included are: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas. Puerto Rico was also recently added to the list.

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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