Indiana Not Added to Chicago's Travel Order Yet, but It's Close

The order is assessed on a weekly basis to determine if states should be added or removed from the list of locations travelers must quarantine from

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Indiana is one of few Midwest states not currently listed under Chicago's travel order, but that could change, the city's top public health official said Tuesday.

Already, Wisconsin, Missouri and Iowa have been added to the order, which requires anyone visiting or returning to the city from certain states to quarantine for 14 days.

Indiana remains, however, one of several states on the cusp of being added to the list, which currently sits at 22 states.

The city's travel order is evaluated every Tuesday, with any additions 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."

"They are in the 10-15 range so we certainly are watching to see what happens," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Tuesday. "I think it's not by accident that if you look in the last week where are we seeing in Chicago some of our highest percent positivity, some of our highest cases, they're down in the zip codes that border Indiana, where we know that right over the border percent positivity is much much higher, number of cases per population is much higher. It's a risk, but we chose that cutoff for a reason and people will go on and off that list when or if they either hit or come off that cutoff."

Indiana reported 809 new coronavirus cases Tuesday along with 16 deaths related to the virus, according to the state's health department. The state's positivity rate sat at 8.9% as of Tuesday.

Chicago's travel order, which began on July 6, is assessed every Tuesday to determine if states should be added or removed from the list of locations travelers must quarantine from.

The most recent additions to the order include Wisconsin, Missouri, North Dakota and Nebraska. Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa were also added in a recent update.

Other states included are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

"We're watching all of our neighbors very, very carefully and we're going to be very prudent," Lightfoot said Monday.

Under Chicago's order, 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.

The move comes as states across the U.S. see surges of coronavirus cases, many shutting down bars and restaurants in an effort to quell or prevent a spike.

New cases have surged in several states across the nation, setting new records, driven mostly by expanding outbreaks in the American South and West.

New York and New Jersey are also asking visitors from several states from the Carolinas to California 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.

"We don't live in a country where you close the borders between states," Pritzker said during the governor's coronavirus briefing. "And we're not going to stop people who live in Illinois and work in Wisconsin from doing so."

NBC Chicago/Associated Press
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