CHICAGO (CBS) — Five more states have been added to Chicago’s emergency travel order, requiring people to self-quarantine for 14 days when arriving from states and territories seeing high COVID-19 case counts.
Colorado, Delaware, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia will be added to the list starting Friday. The list now includes 30 states and and Puerto Rico, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Coronavirus cases have been surging across most of the U.S. over the past few weeks, and state and city health officials have warned we are in the midst of a second wave of the virus.
Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Ohio, and Michigan all have seen record daily case counts in the past week. The Chicago Department of Public Health said only six states – California, Oregon, Hawaii, Vermont, Louisiana and Kentucky – saw a decrease in case counts over the past week.
“This is a sign that we all need to double down on COVID precautions: wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently, practicing social distancing, limiting interaction with those not in your COVID ‘bubble’ and staying home if sick,” CDPH officials said in a statement.
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As of Tuesday, Chicago is averaging 561 new virus cases per day over the past week, compared to an average of 374 cases one week ago, 50% increase. The city’s 7-day average positivity rate stands at 5.8%, up from 4.3% one week ago. Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday warned the city might have to reinstate some Phase 3 virus restrictions soon if the city’s numbers keep rising.
The list of states included in the order is updated every Tuesday to include states with more than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 resident population, per day, over a 7-day rolling average; with additions to the list taking effect the following Friday, and removals from the list taking effect immediately. No states were removed from the list this week.
Chicago’s quarantine mandate requires anyone who is arriving in the city from states and territories considered to be COVID-19 hotspots to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days when they arrive in the city, including visitors to Chicago, and residents who are returning from travel to one of the states.
People who regularly travel to border states on the quarantine list for work or school are exempt from the travel order, but should only travel to those states for work or school purposes. Otherwise, if they take part in any non-work or non-school activities while in a state on the list, they are subject to the quarantine order.
Exceptions also apply for those leaving home for medical treatment, or parental shared custody reasons; and for people for whom self-quarantine “is not possible, practicable or advisable.”
Otherwise, people who travel to states on the list, even if for less than 24 hours, still need to quarantine upon returning unless deemed an essential worker, a commuting student, or for one of the other exceptions.
While people who violate the quarantine order can face fines of $100-$500 per day, up to $7,000, enforcement is almost entirely on the honor system. The city has said officials are focusing on encouraging people to change their travel patterns, and to delay trips unless they’re absolutely necessary.
Although the city has issued warning letters to people they know have violated the quarantine order, officials have not issued any fines.