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Wisconsin Is Back On Chicago’s Quarantine List: ‘Think Twice About Going To Wisconsin Right Now’

The order means anyone coming from Wisconsin to Chicago must quarantine for 14 days, though there are exceptions for people commuting for work.

Pedestrians wear masks in the Loop neighborhood amid the COVID-19 pandemic on August 31, 2020.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Wisconsin has been added back to Chicago’s quarantine list.

Wisconsin was added back because its coronavirus outbreak is out of control, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a Tuesday press conference. The order means anyone coming from Wisconsin to Chicago must quarantine for 14 days, though there are exceptions for people commuting for work.

The update goes into effect Friday.

“I hope that when people see this news about Wisconsin, they think twice about going to Wisconsin right now,” Arwady said. At another point, she said, “Unfortunately, Wisconsin is currently in very poor control when it comes to COVID.”

Wisconsin, Montana, Idaho, Minnesota and Puerto Rico were also added to the list, while two states — Kentucky and Louisiana — were removed.

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

People found violating the quarantine order can be fined $100-$500 per day, up to $7,000.

Wisconsin was put on the list in late July, though it was removed shortly afterward. As students have swarmed universities there, though, the state’s positivity rate has again flown upward. Arwady said the state’s positivity rate was at about 15 percent Tuesday, and Wisconsin is considered to have the third-worst outbreak in the nation relative to its population.

Because of the large number of people who travel between Chicago and Wisconsin for work, the city made several exceptions for essential workers when Wisconsin was previously added to the list.

Essential workers who were commuting didn’t have to quarantine, though they did have to abide by certain rules:

  • They had to limit their activities in Chicago to work-related activities and functions that directly support their work. They had to avoid public spaces as much as possible.
  • They were encouraged to monitor their temperature and check themselves for any symptoms of coronavirus. They had to wear a face covering in public, maintain social distance and clean and disinfect workspaces.
  • They were required to avoid extended time in public, contact with strangers and large group settings.

The Emergency Travel Order list is updated Tuesdays every week.

The current list:

• Alabama
• Arkansas
• Georgia
• Idaho
• Iowa
• Kansas
• Minnesota
• Mississippi
• Missouri
• Montana
• Nebraska
• North Dakota
• Oklahoma
• Puerto Rico
• South Carolina
• South Dakota
• Tennessee
• Utah
• Wisconsin

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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