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Lightfoot on Travel Quarantine: 'You Have An Obligation To Protect Yourself, Your Neighbors'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she needed to take action against the possibility of more COVID-19 cases coming into the city as people traveled during the holiday weekend for the 14-day quarantine.

In her first comments since the city issued the quarantine order last week for people traveling to and from states with COVID-19 hot spots, Mayor Lightfoot said she, Doctor Allison Arwady and other colleagues came up with the quarantine mandate because of the potential of COVID-19 spikes.

"We've made significant progress. You should think about where we were in March and where we are now. But we're worried. We're worried about an uptick. And there's still a lot more work to be done. We need to have our young people, to the teenagers to the 20 somethings, wear masks they go public, not just for themselves but for their family members that they're going to go back home to," Lighftoot said.

Chicago's travel quarantine order is set to begin for those coming from states with coronavirus surges. The order affects anyone coming to Chicago from the following states, or Chicago residents who have traveled to these states and are returning home:

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

With the order taking effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, thousands of people were advised to think twice before traveling. The order is in effect indefinitely, and it is not a suggestion, but a mandate from Chicago health officials.

Lightfoot because of those places and the rampant case numbers associated with those states, the quarantine order was put into place.

"Our hope is that we will educate people into compliance and raise the profile of what's happening in these other states. We have now a full communications marketing plan and place or airports. We're working on the trains. We're going to be doing signage on our highways. This is about educating people into compliance."

Lightfoot said it's an honor system of sorts, where people know what the orders are and to proceed accordingly. 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.

"We felt it necessity to take in taking some additional steps to protect Chicagoans from what's happening all around us. But we are not going on planes and saying 'hey you just came from somewhere, you got to do 14 days of quarantine,'" Lightfoot said.

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