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As List Of States Covered By Chicago's Quarantine Order Shifts Every Week, How Can Travelers Plan Trips Out Of State?

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago Department of Public Health will update the list of states covered by the city's emergency travel order on Tuesday.

The city requires people who have recently traveled to states considered to be travel hot spots to self-quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in Chicago. Every week, the list changes, so how are people supposed to plan for holiday trips?

CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory takes us inside the science behind these flip flops, and a possible strategy for upcoming travel.

"We can't just say you can't go anywhere anymore," said Dr. Emily Landon, chief epidemiologist for University of Chicago Medicine.

And the idea of escaping Chicago seems to be taking off.

Travelers might be on Cloud 9, but tickets and fines are also on the horizon if if jet-setters don't stay grounded when they arrive in Chicago from states or U.S. territories with high COVID infection rates.

At O'Hare International Airport, repeated announcements and signs remind the public that the city's COVID-19 travel quarantine order requires 14-days of isolation if coming back or heading to states and territories on the list of hot spots.

What can get confusing for travelers is the list of states changes every week.

How could a state be good one week and be bad the next? It'll all comes down to probability, according to Landon.

"The reality is there has to be a cutoff," she said.

CDPH has decided 15 new virus cases a day per 100,000 residents is that cutoff. States like Kansas have tipped over the edge and back more than once.

"I think that states are wavering is a good sign. It means they're picking something that's sort of where the trouble states are lying," Landon said.

Flip flops can make it hard to even attempt to plan a trip. So what's the strategy for holiday travel?

"My prediction is every state is going to be in worse shape at the end of October than where they are now," Landon said.

Bummer; but the doctor also said this:

"If you do have family, or need to visit a place because of a certain reason, then I think the best bet is to take the opportunity that you can, and just deal with the quarantine."

The price of public health.

Of course, Landon said you shouldn't take visit a COVID-19 hotspot if the trip is not necessary. The idea is to not further contaminate our communities where the virus is already spreading.

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