Indiana is again in danger of being added to Chicago’s quarantine travel order next week, officials announced Tuesday.
While the neighboring state is still just at a warning level, Chicago residents are “strongly advised” to avoid traveling there, according to a city news release.
Chicago adds a state to its quarantine list if it averages more than 15 new daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period. People who have spent more than 24 hours in the high-risk states are required to self-quarantine for 14 days after entering Chicago.
Indiana already has passed that threshold, but to allow Chicagoans enough time to rearrange their travel plans, the city will wait to see if it improves its numbers next week.
“If Indiana is unable to bring down the daily case average in the next week, they will be added to the quarantine list,” the news release states. “Chicago residents are strongly advised to not travel to Indiana.”
Earlier during September, Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s public health commissioner, warned Indiana was having issues with its coronavirus positivity rates, especially near college towns South Bend and Muncie. But the state ended up faring better in the coming weeks and was not added.
Chicago’s neighbor to the north, Wisconsin, already was placed back on the list two weeks ago — the second time that state was a problem area for Chicago’s quarantine order. Along with other Midwestern states, Wisconsin is grappling with surging infections and overcrowded hospitals as officials warn of a second wave of infections across America.
Other updates to the quarantine list on Tuesday include the addition of Alaska, which goes into effect on Friday, and the immediate removal of Georgia and Texas.
The order now covers 22 states and territories. They are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s self-quarantine requirement was implemented during the Fourth of July weekend. Though the order is generally not being enforced aside from signs and billboards telling people that they must self-quarantine, violators are subject to fines of $100 to $500 per day, up to $7,000.
Exceptions to the self-quarantine order include essential workers, those traveling for medical treatment and those for whom “self-quarantine is not possible, practicable or advisable.” The order also does not apply to people who are at the airport for a connecting flight or are driving through the city on their way elsewhere.
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