By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — Michigan is one of several states added to Chicago’s COVID Travel Order since last week.

The head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, Doctor Allison Arwady, reported Tuesday that Michigan is among seven states added to the orange zone this week, requiring either a 10-day quarantine, or a record of a vaccination or negative COVID test.

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In that category, people must quarantine for 10 days or have a pre-arrival negative test result (no longer than 72 hours prior to arrival) with strict masking, social distancing and avoidance of in-person gatherings when they arrive; or be fully vaccinated, defined as two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or two weeks after one dose of a single-dose vaccine and not have symptoms and maintain strict masking and social distancing.

The order applies to returning Chicago residents and out-of-state visitors arriving in Chicago:

  • Vaccinated persons (returning travelers who live or work in Chicago, or visitors to Chicago) who have travelled domestically are not required to quarantine if they are: asymptomatic; and
  • Fully vaccinated (i.e., are ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a two-dose COVID- 19 vaccine series or ≥2 weeks following receipt of 1 dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine).
  • It is recommended that you bring a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination records while traveling.

States in the orange zone include: New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Florida, Delaware, Georgia, Connecticut, Colorado, North Carolina, Vermont, Alabama, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Alaska, Virginia, New Hampshire, Idaho, Montana, Minnesota, Michigan, West Virginia, Maryland and Maine.

States in the yellow zone include: Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Mississippi, New Mexico, Indiana, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nevada, Kansas, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Washington, California, Wyoming, Missouri, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Utah, Arizona, Texas, Nebraska, District of Columbia and Kentucky.

The order applies to returning Chicago residents and out-of-state visitors arriving in Chicago. Learn more about COVID-19 testing.

  • Vaccinated persons (returning travelers who live or work in Chicago, or visitors to Chicago) who have travelled domestically are not required to quarantine if they are: asymptomatic; and
  • Fully vaccinated (i.e., are ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a two-dose COVID- 19 vaccine series or ≥2 weeks following receipt of 1 dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine).
  • It is recommended that you bring a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination records while traveling.Both Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. are in the yellow zone.

The changes to the emergency travel order go into effect on Friday, March 26.

Arwady said Michigan has seen a surge in new coronavirus cases in the past two weeks.

“We’ve seen in the state of Michigan case rates now, looking like they were around Christmas, in late December; just in the last 14 days, a 112% increase in cases, and importantly, a 52% increase in hospitalizations,” Arwady said.

Arwady said the rise in COVID cases in Michigan is notable.

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“(It) is now third highest in the country in terms of new COVID cases. And it’s surprising because they had been, for months, one of the best states in terms of COVID control across the whole Midwest,” Arwady said.

 

She added that, along with the addition of Michigan on the city’s travel order, things are not improving in Chicago in terms of COVID case numbers.

“Unfortunately, we have seen movement in the wrong direction on the four key metrics that we follow for reopening,” Arwady said pointing to an increase in COVID cases in the city, specifically in a younger demographic, 18-29 year olds.

“If you are taking some chances with COVID, please rethink that,” Arwady said. “Please wear your mask, and please be extra careful if you are interacting with anybody who’s older or anybody with an underlying condition. We were averaging more than 88 new cases every day just here in Chicago among those aged 18 to 29.”

Arwady added that, while the city is on track to enter into the next COVID vaccination phase on Monday, she sees problems ahead if numbers do not turn around.

“Unfortunately we are now up to a point where we’re seeing 350 cases per day. We really want to get under 200 cases per day to take us back to that lower risk state,” Arwady said. “Moving over 400 cases per day would move us to high risk.”

Arwady said the CDPH is also investigating cluster outbreaks, related to sporting and recreational events.

“School sports, college sports, adult recreational leagues, football outbreaks,” said Arwady, who added there was also an outbreak at a swimming event.

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“This is not about the sport. This is about the fact that people are getting their lives back which we love, but needing to keep those masks, not where are you thinking about swimming, that’s not during this swimming support. That’s about the gathering,” Arwady said. “That’s probably happening in informal ways around some of those events, and just reminding people that, that we we continue to see outbreaks and we do continue to see real clusters and outbreaks, particularly in related to some of the younger social events so University, social events we’re seeing real outbreaks there. We’re investigating.”

CBS 2 Chicago Staff