31 states are now on Chicago’s travel advisory list

Aug 11, 2021

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There are now 31 states and two territories on Chicago’s travel advisory, thanks to the addition of 12 new states on Tuesday due to rising COVID-19 cases as the delta variant continues to surge, the Chicago Tribune reported.

On Aug. 10, the Windy City added California, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin, citing COVID-19 numbers not seen since April, including a daily average of 362 cases, up 44% from the previous week, and a 3.8% positivity rate, per Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard data.

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“There are now 31 states and two territories on the City’s COVID Travel Advisory. These states all have surpassed the mark of 15 cases per day, per 100,000 residents,” the advisory read. “This is the first time since April 19 that the Travel Advisory has more states over the 15 cases/day/100k population than under. The U.S. average daily case rate per 100,000 residents is 25.4.”

(Screenshot courtesy of chicago.gov)

Although the city’s travel advisory is no longer mandatory, incoming unvaccinated travelers from those states, plus 19 others on the city’s travel advisory list, including Arkansas, Florida, Missouri and Texas, are advised to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival in Chicago or self-quarantine for 10 days. The advisory does not apply testing or quarantine requirements to vaccinated individuals.

Keep in mind that Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is among the world’s busiest airports. It was ranked the world’s sixth busiest in 2018. It’s not yet clear if the news could have some travelers reconsidering flights through Chicago.

Related: 2020’s busiest airports

On July 16, the Chicago Department of Public Health announced testing requirements for unvaccinated visitors from neighboring states Missouri and Arkansas, rolling back their previous removal of travel restrictions in June due to a successful vaccination campaign and declining COVID-19 cases. But the continual spread of the delta variant throughout states led to Chicago reversing course and updating its list. In late July, city health officials recommended people go back to wear masks indoors, and Gov. JB Pritzker announced a statewide mask mandate for K-12 schools on Aug. 4.

Read more: Chicago reinstates travel restrictions on Missouri, Arkansas as COVID cases surge

“The city of Chicago passed our 200-cases-per-day mark and in line with CDC guidance and CDPH guidance, we have recommended that all city residents and anybody in Chicago over the age of 2 should be wearing a mask regardless of their vaccination status,” Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said on Aug. 1.

Related: Chicago restaurant eyes ‘vaccinated’ and ‘unvaccinated’ dining sections as restrictions lift

Despite growing concerns among city officials, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot allowed the 30th annual Lollapalooza music festival to occur as planned last month, which more than 385,000 people attended.

Featured photo of Lollapalooza at Grant Park in Chicago on July 30, 2021, by Gary Miller/FilmMagic.

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