The city of Chicago on Tuesday added Florida to its emergency travel order, increasing the total number of locations on the city’s quarantine list to 31 states plus Puerto Rico.
The city also warned that Michigan would likely be added next week, putting it instead on a “warning list,” as the city has done with previous Midwestern states.
On the other side, West Virginia and Delaware could come off list next week if their numbers continue to decline.
Last week, city officials added five states – Colorado, Ohio, Delaware, West Virginia and Texas – to the quarantine list and did not remove any of the other states previously added. The week before, health officials added Indiana and three other states. Neighboring Wisconsin has also been on the list since mid-September.
The travel order currently covers 32 states and territories: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, 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.
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” under the order, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady says. Essential workers could be exempt from the quarantine requirement, however, as long as their employer certifies their work in writing.
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, which began on July 6, is evaluated every Tuesday, with any additions taking effect the following Friday. 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 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.”