CHICAGO - Chicago health officials reactivated the city's COVID-19 travel advisory Tuesday due to an uptick in cases in Arkansas and Missouri.
The two states were added back to the list because they are exceeding 15 cases per day, per 100,000 residents.
The travel order dictates that any traveler coming from Missouri and Arkansas should obtain a negative coronavirus test no more than 72 hours prior to arriving in Chicago. Travelers may also quarantine for a 10-day period after arrival.
"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," CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a statement. "That means getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public settings if you are not fully vaccinated."
Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and the US Virgin Islands are on track to pass the COVID threshold if current trends continue.
The numbers are alarming as US COVID-19 cases are on the rise again, doubling over the last three weeks.
"This is not over," said Ramon Lorenzo-Redondo, a research assistant professor at Northwestern Medicine.
As the country opens back up, health officials say many people that are not vaccinated or partially vaccinated have been infected with the virus.
"We are seeing areas where vaccination isn’t has high as we would like it to be, the virus is finding this population and spreading there," said Lorenzo-Redondo.
Some areas have it worse than others. Missouri has a 45.9% jump in cases. Arkansas has seen a 43% surge. Both states have lower vaccination rates.
"If you are headed to Chicago, please stay up to date on our Chicago travel advisory. If you are unvaccinated, you need a negative COVID test or quarantine for 10 days upon arrival," said Dr. Candice Robinson, medical director with the Chicago Department of Public Health.
The uptick in infections is being driven by the fast spreading Delta variant.
"These new variants are stopped and controlled by the vaccine so far. It won’t be a problem except for in the population where there is low vaccination," said Lorenzo-Redondo.
It has not happened yet, but doctors fear the virus could adapt even further and may start to be a little resistant to the vaccination.