Four States, Including Wisconsin, Added To Hotspot List For Chicago's Travel Order

WBBM Newsradio Staff
July 28, 2020 - 11:04 am
O'Hare Airport

WBBM Newsradio/Rob Hart

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Another four states were added Tuesday to Chicago's mandatory travel quarantine order.

Beginning Friday, July 31, anyone traveling to Chicago from Wisconsin, Missouri, North Dakota, and Nebraska will have to self-quarantine for 14 days. The city said it will update the list of affected states every Tuesday - adding or removing states depending on the latest data, and will go in effect the following Friday.

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Chicago's Mayor Lori Lightfoot had announced Monday that Wisconsin was being added to the list this week, but noted that the city was also watching its neighbors "very carefully."

There are currently 22 states covered by the travel order, which took effect July 6, including: 

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Kansas
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin

RELATED: Kansas Added To Hotspot List For Chicago's Travel Order | Iowa, Oklahoma Added To Chicago Travel Order

The Chicago Department of Public Health said travelers entering or returning from any of those states – which have “a case rate greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 resident population, per day, over a 7-day rolling average” – must isolate themselves for two weeks and self-monitor for possible COVID-19 symptoms.

The travel order covers visitors to Chicago, as well as residents, and has exceptions for people doing essential travel, such as, government or military work, medical work, or shared parental custody; as well as those who don't stay in a hotspot for more than 24 hours. The order does not affect travelers at the city's airports who land here to connect with a flight or people driving through the state. 

Individuals who are commuting from Wisconsin to Chicago for the purpose of work will be exempt; however, such commuters are subject to the following requirements:

  • They must limit their activities to work-related activities and functions that directly support their work, and avoid public spaces as much as possible.
  • They should monitor their temperature and for any symptoms, wear a face covering when in public, maintain social distance, and clean and disinfect workspaces.
  • They are required, to the extent possible, to avoid extended periods in public, contact with strangers, and large congregate settings.

Individuals subject to the self-quarantine order face fines of $100 to $500 per day, up to $7,000 for violations, the city said. The order is in effect until further notice, officials said.

The order applies to Chicago only - not the rest of the state.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said earlier this month that the city's new emergency travel order is more about people doing what they can to help stop the spread of COVID-19 rather than legal enforcement.

Dr. Arwady said the city won't be tracking every traveler coming into the state, but wants people to do the right thing and watch out for the Chicago community. 

"We do not have a plan, for example, to look for out-of-state license plates to pull people over; we do not have a plan to create a list of individuals who are traveling and try to track them down," Dr. Arwady said. "Our goal is, first of all, to get this message out strongly, that's the most important thing."

CDPH has strongly encouraged residents to avoid non-essential travel to states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases. If travel cannot be avoided, every Chicago resident and visitor is required to follow public health guidance, including the City’s Emergency Travel Order. 

You can read the full emergency travel order and find frequently asked questions about the order on the Chicago Department of Public Health website.