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Iowa And Oklahoma Added To Chicago's Travel Quarantine Order, Effective Friday

CHICAGO (CBS) -- City officials have added two more states to the mandatory travel quarantine order in Chicago, requiring anyone traveling from states considered to be COVID-19 hotspots to self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving in the city.

Starting Friday, travelers coming in from Iowa and Oklahoma will be included in the order, which already covered travel from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. The quarantine order first went into effect on July 6.

The city's quarantine mandate covers anyone who is arriving in Chicago from those states, including visitors to Chicago, and residents who are returning from travel to one of the states.

The list of states covered by the quarantine order includes those with a virus a case rate greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents per day, on a 7-day rolling average. The mayor's office has said the list will be updated every Tuesday, and changes to the list will go into effect the following Friday. States will be removed from the list if their COVID-19 infection rates fall below the city's established threshold.


City officials have said it's an honor system of sorts, rather than relying on hands-on enforcement of the quarantine mandate.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said earlier this month the city is not necessarily taking a hands-on approach.

"We do not have a plan to, for example, look for out-of-state license plates and pull people over. We do not have a plan to create a list of individuals who are traveling and try to track them down," she said.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot also said resources won't go into stopping people regarding their travels.

"We're not going to send teams out to cite people with violations, but we want people to think about the fact that if you were traveling to one of these states where you're seeing literally historic numbers of daily counts, you have an obligation to be conscious of that fact and to protect yourself, but also protect your neighbors in this new locale against a potential spread of the virus," Lightfoot said, mentioning the example of Florida where cases continue to rise at alarming rates.

Violators will be subject to fines of $100-$500 per day, up to $7,000. Exceptions to the order will be permitted for travel for medical care and parental shared custody. Business travel to Chicago for essential workers is also exempted from the quarantine order.

The quarantine also will not apply to people just passing through Chicago, like those catching a connecting flight or just driving through the city.

Illinois has not issued such an order on a statewide basis, and when the city announced its order, Gov. JB Pritzker's office said it was not planning to do so, but the governor has said that could change if needed.


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