Chicago's emergency travel order extended to 4 more states

Chicago added Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska and North Dakota to the list of states where people who are traveling to the city must quarantine for two weeks as Illinois learned that its own residents must do the same when they travel to New York, New Jersey or Connecticut.

Chicago officials said that beginning Friday, anyone from those states who doesn’t comply with the requirement could face possible fines. They issued the quarantine order in early July. Initially, it applied to travelers from 15 states, but it has been updated weekly based on increasing numbers of confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The expansion announced Tuesday brought the total number of affected states to 22.

Three of the five states bordering Illinois are included in the order; Iowa was listed in a previous update. Chicago officials acknowledged that Wisconsin’s inclusion, though, could be more complicated.

Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Public Health, said city residents who work in Wisconsin or vice versa can continue commuting if their jobs require it but should otherwise limit their activities.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he doesn’t plan to issue a similar order for travelers statewide. He has urged Illinois residents who visit other states for work or personal reasons to take precautions, including face coverings.

But the numbers of people who have tested positive in Illinois has climbed in recent days and the state was added to the joint quarantine list kept by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced Tuesday. Kentucky, Minnesota, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., were added to the list that now includes 34 states

On its website, the governor’s office explains that travelers arriving from states that average daily positive test rates of 10 percent or 10 new cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling period must self-isolate.

Cuomo recently began requiring travelers arriving at New York’s airports to fill out a health form to try to enforce compliance with the states’ quarantine rules. Failure to submit such a form could result in a $2,000 fine.

To comply with Chicago’s order, travelers must stay at a single home or other dwelling for 14 days except to seek medical care or be tested for COVID-19.

The order also applies to city residents returning from a visit to a designated state.

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, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday that she wasn’t aware of anyone who had been fined by the city for violating it.