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Chicago Orders Travelers Coming From High-Coronavirus States To Quarantine For 14 Days

The order comes as states throughout the country — including around Chicago — are facing a surge in coronavirus cases.

People at the O'Hare International Airport in February 2020.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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Editor’s Note: This story was updated July 23.

CHICAGO — The city is ordering travelers coming from states with high numbers of coronavirus infections to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in Chicago.

The city issued the Emergency Travel Order on Thursday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced in a tweet.

The order comes as states throughout the country — including those near Chicago — are facing a surge in coronavirus cases. Illinois has also had a slight incline in cases, though it hasn’t been as dramatic as states in the South and West, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said Thursday.

RELATED: Coronavirus On The Rise In Illinois, But Chicago’s Flat For Now, Top Doctor Says

The quarantine order will apply to anyone whose final destination is Chicago and who is coming from a state where there are 15 or more new confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents daily, according to Lightfoot’s tweets.

Only people who spent a day or longer in the high-risk states will need to quarantine once they get to Chicago. People who have had layovers in those states do not need to quarantine.

Those who are affected will have to stay in a “single designated home or dwelling for 14 days before doing any activities outside of the home or dwelling,” according to Lightfoot’s tweets.

“People in quarantine should separate themselves from others as much as possible and check themselves for symptoms.”

The order currently applies to people coming from these states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah

People found violating the quarantine order could be fined between $100 to $500 per day, up to $7,000, though it is unclear how city officials will enforce that.

Arwady said people in Chicago should be concerned about the risk in cases, hospitalizations and deaths throughout the country.

“The main thing is, all around us, cases are on the incline,” Arwady said during a livestreamed Q&A. “The state of Illinois, as a state, is going up. Not dramatically up, but it’s going up.

“It is a national story. … We look good in Chicago right now, but Chicago doesn’t have a wall around it.”

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