CHICAGO (CBS) — Utah is on Chicago’s emergency travel order list, but several states are now off.
Last week, the CDPH added Kentucky to the city’s emergency travel order, requiring people to quarantine for 14 days upon return from travel to high-risk states or territories.
But some states are now off Chicago’s travel order list because their coronavirus case numbers are not rising. They include: Florida, Idaho, North Carolina, Texas, Hawaii and Nevada.
“Certainly we are watching Wisconsin with huge concern,” said Doctor Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health. “They had their highest ever number of cases of COVID reported last Thursday. They’ve had percent positivity is in the 13 to 17% range.”
She said there’s a good chance, if the trend continues, that Wisconsin will be added next week to Chicago’s list.
“We will not formally add them today but we are advising against travel to Wisconsin. I want to highlight that Wisconsin has had the most cases that it’s had at any point since COVID broke out last week, and they’re having percent positivity that range from the 13 to 17% range and problems across the state,” Arwady said. “So, if you’re able to avoid travel to Wisconsin this week, please do so and we will continue to assess the numbers. If they remain high, Wisconsin will be added next week.
Arwady said the focus for COVID remains in this area of the country.
“The focus of COVID-19 right now is very much in the Midwest. Leading the country in terms of cases per population, are North Dakota and South Dakota, and then that’s followed by Oklahoma Missouri and Wisconsin. That’s where we are seeing growth and unfortunately that is very near Illinois and our area of highest concern right now.”
“Where there’s a one of the states that’s directly bordering (Illinois) we want to make sure people have enough pre-warning about this,” Arwady said. “My expectation is that we will basically put people on alert for Wisconsin that if they’re not able to turn this around. They would be added to the list the following week, but the bottom line is really, from right now, if people can avoid the travel it won’t be probably in the formal quarantine order, unless it stays up for another week.”
As of Tuesday, the city’s quarantine list now includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah.
The city of Chicago’s positivity rate stands at 5.2% Arwady said social gatherings with friends and family are still the main sources of spread.
“Private gatherings continue to be our major sources spread in the household among extended families, among neighbors and other people who understandably people feel comfortable with,” Arwady said. “And they don’t wear their masks and they perhaps don’t socially distance. So we continue to hear about spread in birthday parties and barbecues in family celebrations and weddings.”
The head of the CDPH said being with familiar people may give a false sense of security.
“This week we had an outbreak at a retirement party for example, particularly when people are feeling the most comfortable and the most celebratory. “I think especially when they’re among folks who they trust, it can be at risk for spreading COVID. So please, you know, continue to where you’re gathering, if you’re able to do that out of doors, it is safer than indoors. It is not completely safe though and you need to make sure no matter which setting you’re in that we continue to wear the face coverings. Keep the social distance do the hand washing, all the things that we know can limit risk.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced 1,466 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) , including 20 additional confirmed deaths.