Tag: affects

Chicago Travel Quarantine Order Now Affects Nearly All States

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

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Answers to your questions about how climate change affects winter recreation in Maine

Maine has long been a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts who in winter have gone downhill skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. But as climate change makes sub-freezing temperatures and sufficient snowpack less consistent, and as tourists seek out new kinds of experiences, traditional winter outdoor recreation businesses in Maine are having to adjust.

Some ski resorts have suffered through slow winters due to a relative lack of snow, while opportunities to go ice fishing are shrinking as lakes consistently freeze later and thaw earlier in the year.

To share information about the effect of warming temperatures on Maine’s economy, communities and ecosystems, the Bangor Daily News hosted an online event on Oct. 15, bringing together four experts to share their work on the topic. The webinar was the third of four BDN Climate Conversations, which will help shape our coverage of climate issues.

The conversations bring together scientists from the University of Maine and other research institutions as well as local subject matter experts.

During last week’s event, people who tuned in wanted to know more about the impact of warmer temperatures on winter recreational activities in Maine. Here are some of their biggest questions.

Michael San Filippo

Is it possible that climate change may, paradoxically, cause colder temperatures on average in Maine during the winter in the future? Rising temperatures are weakening the jet stream, allowing frigid arctic air to reach further south.

While climate change has made weather conditions more volatile, the overall trend shows that the planet is getting warmer, including in Maine.

There have been some examples in recent winters of places in Maine getting single-digit or sub-zero temperatures one day and above-freezing temperatures the next, but it is unlikely that there will be any significant cooling as long as the volume of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continues to rise. Still, there could be some variability from one decade to the next, with some on average being cooler than others, due to natural factors such as volcanic eruptions.

Kenneth Capron

Couldn’t it be argued that this trend is actually good for Maine for the tourism and agriculture industries? Are earlier ice-outs better or worse for the fish in our lakes and rivers?

It depends on what kind of tourism business you run, which is why many businesses that historically have catered to snowmobilers or downhill skiers have diversified the types of activities they offer. Many ski resorts have built or connected to area mountain bike trails to attract customers in warm months, for example. Cross-country skiing requires less snowpack than snowmobiling, and fat bikes or fat tire bikes can be ridden either in snow or on bare or muddy ground.

In places that tend to draw hikers or enthusiasts of other traditional summer outdoor activities, the milder weather — especially during fall foliage season — has boosted business in the state’s tourism industry over the past few decades. Relatively warm and dry weather in the months of September and October has been credited by officials

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