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Surging COVID Means Chicago’s Travel Advisory Is Back With 2 States — And More Could Come If The Trend Continues

“The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and this only goes to show that the virus is still very much a threat and that we must all remain vigilant against it,” said Dr. Allison Arwady.

Commuters make their way through O'Hare International Airport on May 30, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — The city’s travel advisory has returned as other states are seeing a surge in coronavirus cases.

For weeks, no states appeared on Chicago’s travel advisory because COVID-19 cases across the country dropped as vaccines became widely available. But coronavirus is now spiking in multiple states, with the surges fueled by the more-contagious Delta variant and the low amount of people who are fully vaccinated, officials have said.

Missouri and Arkansas are among the states seeing a surge. As of Tuesday, they reported enough daily new COVID-19 cases to be added to Chicago’s travel advisory, according to a city health department news release.

Nevada, Louisiana, Utah, Wyoming, Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands are at risk of being added to the list, too, as they’re seeing spikes. Should that trend continue, they could be added to the list when it’s updated in two weeks.

Under the advisory, unvaccinated people who come from Missouri or Arkansas to Chicago are asked to get a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours prior to arriving or to quarantine for 10 days upon arriving.

And the federal government still requires all people to wear masks on public transit — including planes, buses and trains — and at airports and stations.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and this only goes to show that the virus is still very much a threat and that we must all remain vigilant against it,” Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said in a news conference. “That means getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public settings if you are not fully vaccinated.”

About 99 percent of all new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are among people who aren’t vaccinated, Arwady said. She said the vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective at preventing serious illness and deaths.

Anyone 12 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago. The shots are free and do not require health insurance.

Vaccinations:

• In Illinois, about 6.3 million people of all ages — or 49.51 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — have gotten all their COVID-19 vaccine shots, according to state data.

• Across the state, 20,794 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 12,851,005 vaccine doses of the 14,381,225 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.36 million Chicagoans — or 50.8 percent of all residents — have gotten fully vaccinated. About 56.8 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require insurance. Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

The numbers:

Editor’s note: The number of new cases was originally incorrectly reported. That figure has been updated to reflect 578 cases were reported between Monday and Tuesday.

• Twelve Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19 since Monday.

• At least 23,336 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,457 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 578 cases since Monday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,397,667.

• Since Monday, 31,841 tests were reported statewide. In all, 26,183,998 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate was at 1.8 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 1.7 percent Monday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 2.1 percent. It was also at 2 percent Monday.

• As of Monday night, 108 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 40 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, four deaths were reported since Monday. There have been at least 5,487 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing one death per day, unchanged from the week prior.

• Chicago has had 62 confirmed cases reported since Monday. It’s had a total of 286,694 confirmed cases. An average of 53 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 53 percent increase from the week prior.

• At the same time, testing has decreased 12 percent since a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 1.1 percent, up from .7 percent the week prior.

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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