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Missouri, Arkansas Added To Chicago Travel Advisory, As COVID Cases Begin Rising Again

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Two weeks after Chicago reduced its emergency travel order to a travel advisory, because there were no states or territories reporting high numbers of cases, Missouri and Arkansas have been added to the new travel advisory as COVID-19 cases in some parts of the U.S. are rising again.

The Chicago Department of Public Health said recent increases in Missouri and Arkansas have pushed those states past 15 cases per day per 100,000 residents.

With those two states now on Chicago's travel advisory, unvaccinated visitors from those states are urged to either obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours before arriving in Chicago, or quarantine for a 10-day period upon arrival.

While the travel advisory does not include any restrictions on visitors, the city said all travelers must still follow masking rules while traveling. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady noted that about 99% of new cases across the country are among people who have not been vaccinated.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and this only goes to show that the virus is still very much a threat and that we must all remain vigilant against it," Arwady said in a statement. "That means getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public settings if you are not fully vaccinated."

The city's emergency travel order was shifted to a travel advisory two weeks ago, after there had been three consecutive updates with no U.S. states or territories reporting 15 or more COVID cases per day per 100,000 residents.

The last time travelers from any states were subject to the city's travel order was May 18.

Since then, Missouri and Arkansas are the only two states to rise back above the threshold for the new travel advisory.

However, city officials also said, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID case rates have been rising in other parts of the country; Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are at risk of passing the threshold to be included in the travel advisory if trends there continue.

"The CDC notes that the highly transmissible delta variant continues to spread across the United States rapidly and now makes up more than 50 percent of COVID-19 cases. However, people who are fully vaccinated are protected from the variant," CDPH said in a news release.

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