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12 States Come Off Chicago’s COVID Travel Advisory As Cases ‘Wane In A Lot Of The Country’

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have dropped significantly in the United States, including in Chicago and across Illinois.

A person looks at flight departures and arrival times at O’Hare International Airport on Dec. 9, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Another 12 states were removed from Chicago’s travel advisory this week.

The advisory now covers 34 states and one territory. Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wisconsin were removed this week, and another 18 states could come off the list next week, according to a Mayor’s Office news release.

“Finally, we’re starting to see COVID really wane in a lot of the country here,” Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a Tuesday livestream.

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have dropped significantly in the United States, including in Chicago and across Illinois. But some parts of the nation are still struggling with their outbreaks — and Arwady said the United States has suffered more than other similar countries because Americans haven’t been as quick to get vaccinated.

“I just wanted to highlight that I am sad with how we’ve done, in a lot of ways, as a country, in particular, from COVID,” Arwady said. “…When I look at outcomes here … the share of Americans who have been killed by COVID at this point is at least 63 percent higher than in any other large, wealthy nation. … We haven’t had vaccine uptake like these countries have.

“I worry about how, as a country, we continue to make decisions that have led to these kinds of outcomes. But I want to reassure you the risk in Chicago is low … .”

Unvaccinated travelers from places on the list should get a COVID-19 test one to three days before their trip and three to five days after arriving in Chicago, according to the health advisory. Unvaccinated people are also asked to quarantine for at least seven days upon arrival in the city, even if they get a negative test; those who don’t get tested are asked to quarantine for 10 days.

The quarantine and test rules do not apply for travelers who are fully vaccinated.

All people must wear masks on public transportation — including planes, buses and trains — and people must wear masks indoors in public in Chicago. Travelers are also asked to avoid crowds as much as possible and wash their hands or use sanitizer.

And unvaccinated people who traveled should avoid being around people at increased risk for severe illness — like older people and immunocompromised people — for at least 14 days, regardless of their test results, according to the health department.

All travelers are asked to watch themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and to isolate and get tested if they have symptoms.

Arwady has previously urged Chicagoans who aren’t fully vaccinated not to travel, as they could be at risk.

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