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Chicago issues quarantine order for travelers from states with high COVID-19 infection rates

By Rob Elgas adn ABC7 Digital Team

Chicago has issued an emergency travel order requiring anyone coming to the city from states experiencing a surge in COVID-19 infections to quarantine for 14 days.

The order takes effect on Monday, July 6, for travelers from the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Nevada
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah

Speaking to ABC7 on Wednesday, Chicago’s public health commissioner hinted this could be coming.

“We’ve been looking at other states that have done this,” Dr. Allison Arwady said. “We definitely are considering it, I would say considering it strongly. It’s important if we’re thinking of doing this that we’re doing this to do it in a way that’s consistent as it can be I think with other places that have made that decision.”

According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, the states designated in the travel order have a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19. A state will be designated if it has a case rate greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 resident population, per day, over a 7-day rolling average.

Essential workers who must travel to Chicago must provide a certified note from their employer so that it can be reviewed by the health department and Chicago police. Essential workers will be subject to requirements that include limiting their activities to work-related activities and avoiding public spaces as much as possible.

Non-essential business travelers are also required to comply. Exceptions to the order for personal travel will be permitted for medical care and parental shared custody.

The president of the Illinois Restaurant Association is optimistic business won’t immediately suffer.

“Our neighboring states are not on the list,” said Sam Toia, president and CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association. “If our neighboring states do get put on the list, it could make it a little tougher for the hospitality industry here in the city of Chicago.”

If family and friends are coming to visit, family members who did not travel from a designated state are not required to self-quarantine.

“If people are coming to visit you from Chicago, you really want to make them aware of this,” said Clint Henderson, a travel expert and senior news editor for The Points Guy. “The airlines and hotels have been very flexible in the age of coronavirus, so have them call their airline, have them call their hotel and ask them what their policies are. Most of the time they are able to get their money back if they have to cancel their trip.”

The order will remain in effect until further notice. The city said that individuals found in violation of the quarantine order are subject to fines of $100 – $500 per day, up to $7,000.

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

The travel order comes as Illinois Department of Public Health reported 869 new coronavirus cases and 36 additional deaths on Thursday.

There’s now a total of 144,882 confirmed cases across the state, including 6,987 deaths.

This article originally appeared on ABC7 News.

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