CHICAGO — For the first time in nearly a year, not a single state has been listed under the riskier tier of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order.
That means people can come to Chicago from any other state or territory without having to quarantine or get a negative coronavirus test. It’s the first time no state has fallen under the order’s riskier category since the order was created in July 2020.
The change was made because more people are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, meaning the number of new cases are dropping across the country.
“And that’s because COVID is getting better, not just here in Chicago but really around the country,” Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a Tuesday livestream. “We’re really doing very, very well. This has been predominantly, of course, because of the vaccine.”
The Chicago Department of Public Health’s order is meant to keep Chicagoans safe and protect the city by limiting the chances for coronavirus to spread during the pandemic.
The order divides states and territories into two categories.
The yellow category is for states with a rolling, seven-day average of fewer than 15 confirmed cases per day per 100,000 residents.
People traveling to Chicago from a place in the Yellow category don’t need to quarantine or get a negative COVID-19 test. But they must still wear masks, practice social distancing and avoid in-person gatherings in the city, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.
The other category, dubbed Orange, is for states with a rolling, seven-average of 15 or more confirmed cases per day per 100,000 residents. But no states were listed in the Orange Category this week. The list is updated every two weeks.
If not fully vaccinated, people traveling from a place in the Orange category to Chicago must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival or must get a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before getting to the city.
Even those who get a negative test must still wear masks, practice social distancing and avoid in-person gatherings, according to the city’s rules.
People who have been fully vaccinated and have not had symptoms of COVID-19 do not need to quarantine upon arrival or get a negative test, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health. To be considered fully vaccinated, a person must have waited until two weeks after the second dose of their two-dose vaccine or two weeks after the only dose of a one-dose vaccine.
Even people who are fully vaccinated must monitor their health for 14 days after arriving in Chicago; if they experience symptoms of COVID-19, they must isolate until getting a test and being clinically evaluated, according to the health department. They must also still follow protective measures, like wearing a mask, social distancing and avoiding crowds.
There are still some exceptions to the order: People can travel for medical care and parental shared custody, and essential workers can travel for business. But essential workers who travel for business must limit their activities to work-related functions and avoid public spaces.
And people who have had layovers in Orange states do not need to quarantine.
The latest update goes into effect Friday. The list of states in each category is updated every two weeks.
People found violating the quarantine order could be fined $100-$500 per day, up to $7,000.
• New Hampshire
• New Jersey
• New Mexico
• New York
• North Carolina
• North Dakota
• Puerto Rico
• Rhode Island
• South Carolina
• South Dakota
• Washington, D.C.
• West Virginia
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