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Illinois won’t join Chicago’s emergency travel order, even though it qualifies

The state currently meets the city's threshold requiring anyone entering or returning to Chicago to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

States are added to the Chicago Department of Public Health's emergency travel order when they reach a case rate greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, per day, over a 7-day rolling average. Right now, Illinois is sitting at an average of 15.9 new cases over the past seven days—but the state won't be joining Chicago's emergency travel order, meaning that you won't have to quarantine for 14 days after making a trip to Rockford.

"Within Illinois, we know that we have people who are commuters, we know that we have people who travel, and realistically we didn't think that it made sense to try to enforce any sort of quarantine restriction within Illinois," CDPH commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said during a press conference today. She emphasized that Chicago is doing slightly better than the rest of the state (the city is at an average of 12.6 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days), but that now is the time to carefully consider how you're moving through Illinois to avoid a situation in which the state's numbers get out of control.

Dr. Arwady highlighted the recent measures that have been taken in two Illinois regions: Region 7 (Will and Kankakee counties) and Region 4 (Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties). Both regions have broken the state's 8 percent test positivity threshold, prompting the rollback of indoor bar and restaurant service in those counties and a limit on social gatherings of up to 25 people (down from 50). It's a preview of what could be in store for Chicago if cases in the city continue the upward trend they've been on for the past few weeks.

While the city won't be imposing any restrictions on in-state travel in order to avoid confusion and to account for workers who must travel throughout the state as part of their jobs, Dr. Arwady is encouraging Chicagoan's to continue following safety guidelines and to carefully consider the necessity of any trips they're planning. "My message really at the end of the day is that if people can avoid unnecessary gatherings of any kind, it's a good time to be doing that—in Chicago and in the state," Dr. Arwady said.

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