Pritzker warns he will implement restrictions again if COVID numbers continue to rise

Governor JB Pritzker said Tuesday if COVID-19 numbers continue to increase in Illinois, he would take action.

This comes as other states across the country see a surge in new coronavirus cases.

“I will not hesitate to re-impose some mitigations if we see our numbers moving upward,” Pritzker said.

Meanwhile, the City of Chicago has expanded its emergency travel order that requires travelers from states experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases to quarantine for two weeks.

“It is not an advisable time to take a vacation to any of these states that are on this high risk list,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, who is the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Starting Friday, anyone arriving from Iowa and Oklahoma will have to self-quarantine. The order now applies to a total of 17 states. Violators could be fined up to $7,000.

To comply, 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 acknowledge there’s little way of enforcing the order. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the order can raise travelers’ awareness of “what their obligations are when they travel.”

“We are seeing now the largest number of new cases in that 18 to 29 year old age group. Really followed by the 30 to 39 year old age group,” Arwady said.

She says data suggests the virus is largely being driven by what she calls "community spread."

“This is not so much about seeing the big increases in long term care facilities,” Arwady said.

She warns that if numbers of daily cases rise significantly, Chicago will have to take a step back in reopening.

“That’s when we're going to need to take steps backward as a society and think about putting more restrictions in place,” Arwady said.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday reported 707 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 25 deaths. Overall, there have been 155,506 confirmed cases and 7,218 deaths.

Associated Press contributed to this report.