Chicago could soon require travelers from Indiana to quarantine for 14 days

CHICAGO—Indiana may be added to Chicago’s emergency travel order if the state’s COVID-19 infection rate does not improve in the next week, according to Chicago's latest travel update.

Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s public health commissioner, announced on Tuesday that travelers and returning city residents from states that have a surge in new COVID-19 cases will have to quarantine for a 14-day period.

As of October 5, Chicago’s travel order consists of states including Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kanas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Indiana has been added to Chicago’s warning list to allow residents time to plan for potential travel disruptions, according to health officials.

If Indiana cannot bring down the daily case average over the next week, the state will be added to the quarantine list, the travel order update said.

Chicago residents are being “strongly advised” to not travel to Indiana, according to the travel order update.

Chicago adds a state to its emergency travel order if the state averages more than 15 new cases per 100,000 residents per day over a seven-day period.

Exceptions will be made for people who are traveling to the city for medical care, parental shared custody or to perform essential work.

According to the order, if a traveler's final destination is a state included in the order, then they must quarantine for 14 days upon return to Chicago, even if they are in that state for less than 24 hours. If traveling through a designated state, and are in the state for less than 24 hours, then they do not need to quarantine. 

Travelers coming to Chicago for non-essential business and residents returning to Chicago from a state included in the order must follow quarantine guidelines, according to the city's update.

Essential workers who travel from a state included on the emergency order to Chicago for their job do not need to quarantine, according to the order's exceptions list. 

Chicago's emergency order update did not say how the order will be enforced but did include that people in violation of the order could be subject to fines.

The Indiana Department of Health reported on Wednesday that there are 1,302 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 new deaths related to the coronavirus in the state. 

Read the full emergency order on the city of Chicago's website.

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