CHICAGO (CBS) — City officials have added Kansas to the mandatory travel quarantine order in Chicago, requiring anyone traveling from states considered to be COVID-19 hotspots to self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving in the city. Wisconsin also could be added to the list as early as next week, as cases there continue to climb.

Starting Friday, travelers coming in from Kansas will be included in the order, which already covered travel from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. The quarantine order first went into effect on July 6.

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Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said the COVID-19 outbreak in those states is not under control in large part because people aren’t wearing masks like they should.

Arwady also said Wisconsin is “very close” to being on the travel quarantine list, and could be added next week.

“When I talk to folks in Wisconsin, whether that’s the state epidemiologist, whether that’s people just on an anecdotal level, we know people are not wearing masks there at the level that they are here in Chicago,” Arwady said.

The city’s quarantine mandate covers anyone who is arriving in Chicago from those states, including visitors to Chicago, and residents who are returning from travel to one of the states.

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The list of states covered by the quarantine order includes those with a virus a case rate greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents per day, on a 7-day rolling average. The mayor’s office has said the list will be updated every Tuesday, and changes to the list will go into effect the following Friday. States will be removed from the list if their COVID-19 infection rates fall below the city’s established threshold.

 

Violators will be subject to fines of $100-$500 per day, up to $7,000. Exceptions to the order will be permitted for travel for medical care and parental shared custody. Business travel to Chicago for essential workers is also exempted from the quarantine order.

The quarantine also will not apply to people just passing through Chicago, like those catching a connecting flight or just driving through the city.

City officials have said it’s an honor system of sorts, rather than relying on hands-on enforcement of the quarantine mandate. The city does not plan to create a list of individuals arriving at the city’s airports from the states on the list to track them down, or to pull over vehicles with out-of-state license plates.

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However, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said the city won’t be sending out teams to cite people for violating the order, and will focus on educating people about the risks of traveling to states with high daily counts of COVID-19, and the need to protect family, friends, and neighbors from further spread of the virus.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff