CHICAGO — City folks visiting nearly every U.S. state will be required to quarantine for two weeks under a revamped coronavirus emergency travel order, public health officials said Tuesday.
“It’s not rocket science about what needs to be done. It’s about individual decision-making. Now is not the time to be traveling. Now is not the time to be gathering. It is not the time to have people into your home who do not already live there,” Chicago public health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said.
The city’s emergency travel order now designates COVID-19 travel risks in three categories — Red, Orange and Yellow. As of Tuesday, 42 states and Puerto Rico were categorized as coronavirus hot spots that would require Chicagoans to self-quarantine for 14 days after returning from any of those locations.
City officials also urged Chicagoans to avoid nonessential trips to six other states and the District of Columbia in the Yellow category.
“It is the time to put COVID first. Imagine that you yourself have COVID right now. And if you have COVID, that means you need to be wearing your mask whenever you’re going out from your home. You need to be social distancing. You need to be hand-washing. You need to be staying home if you are having even mild symptoms,” Arwady said. “And you need to be looking out for your family, your neighbors and all of Chicago. I know we’re tired of COIVD, but COVID is going to continue to grow if we can’t change our behavior.”
Arwady also said that gathering in Chicago also presents severe risks of spreading COVID-19. She said there’s a 1-in-3 chance that someone has COVID-19 in a gathering of 10 people. In a group of 50, the risk of being in the presence of someone with coronavirus jumps to 9 out of 10 people, Arwady said.
The travel order requires travelers self-quarantine after visiting hot spot states that have a higher coronavirus positivity rate than Chicago, or 15 positive case per 100,000 people. Those states include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
City officials also advised folks to avoid nonessential travel to “Yellow” states including New York, California, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Maine, Vermont and District of Columbia.
More information is available on the Chicago Public Health Department website.
This article originally appeared on the Chicago Patch