Puerto Rico added to Chicago's quarantine travel order

Chicago’s emergency travel order is extending all the way to Puerto Rico.

It is the latest added to the list, but officials say it's not necessarily these faraway places that could cause you to get infected with COVID-19.

Starting Friday, anyone entering or returning to Chicago from Puerto Rico will be required to quarantine for two weeks or risk fines of $100 to $500 a day, up to $7,000.

The U.S. Territory will join a list of 22 states under the city of Chicago’s emergency travel order. Some of the states so far include Wisconsin, Texas, Florida and California.

“We’ve had many--dozens and dozens--more than 5 dozen last I looked of confirmed COVID cases here in Chicago, among people who traveled to states on our travel order,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

In Humboldt Park, some people with family in Puerto Rico wonder when they will be able to see them again.

“I used to travel two, three times a year to specific family, like I said I don’t have family here, and now that is not even an option,” said Sara Gonzalez.

But there may soon be some good news for travelers. Dr. Arwady says three states currently on the list--Iowa, Kansas and Utah--have all made progress against COVID-19 and could be removed from the list next week.

“Our Chicago data, by and large, the number one risk factor is exposure within the household. It is ten times the risk of acquiring COVID than any of other exposures. And so I would ask you all please, think about ways you can limit your close contacts,” she said.

Dr. Arwady says where there is already a concern that someone may have violated the travel order, one of the easiest ways to find out is through social media, which could then be used as proof to issue a citation.