Chicago adds Wisconsin, Puerto Rico to quarantine travel order list

Chicago officials Tuesday told visitors from Wisconsin for the second time that they must remain in quarantine for two weeks if they visit the city.

The order set to take effect Friday comes as Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared a “new public health emergency” because of a spike in coronavirus cases in that state and extended a statewide mask mandate there until Nov. 21.

“Unfortunately, Wisconsin is currently in very poor control when it comes to COVID,” Allison Arwady, Chicago’s health commissioner, told reporters Tuesday. Wisconsin was first added to the 14-day quarantine order in late July by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration, before it was taken off the list in mid-August when case numbers fell.

Tuesday’s order was not surprising after Arwady said last week that Wisconsin would land on the list again if the state’s case rate did not fall below 15 cases per 100,000.

But Wisconsin is not even close to that rate. On Tuesday, Arwady said with 31 cases per 100,000 residents, Wisconsin has the third highest rate in the nation behind North Dakota and South Dakota.

Along with Wisconsin, Chicago added Montana, Idaho, Minnesota and Puerto Rico to its quarantine list on Tuesday and took Kentucky and Louisiana off the list.

Chicago officials have acknowledged that there’s no way to broadly enforce the order. Arwady said public health officials can write tickets when they find people have violated the order.

Also Tuesday, Illinois health officials reported 1,531 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 30 additional deaths attributed to the virus in the last 24 hours.

The latest figures bring the statewide total of confirmed cases since the pandemic began to 277,266 and the number of deaths to 8,486.