CHICAGO (CBS) — In a move similar to other cities and states throughout the country, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants anyone traveling into the city from experiencing COVID-19 surges to self-quarantine for 14 days when they return starting Monday July 6.
The emergency health order was issued by Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner for the Chicago Department of Public Health.
“Like every action we have taken in response to the COVID-19 crisis, this decision was difficult but necessary in order to ensure the continued health and safety of Chicago’s residents and businesses,” said Lightfoot. “This emergency order will not only help contain the local spread of COVID-19 and preserve the positive progress we’ve made, it will also serve to prevent further spread nationwide and support the efforts of officials in other cities and states.”
Even though the city has seen declines in COVID-19 cases and deaths, the recent surge of new cases across the country was one of the reasons for the emergency order.
Similar orders have been placed on a statewide in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut for travelers from states with coronavirus surges to self quarantine when they reach their home destination.
Illinois has not issued such an order on a statewide basis, and Gov. JB Pritzker’s office said it does not currently intend to do so.
“Municipalities have the ability to issue more stringent guidance for their communities. With other cities in the country experiencing spikes as Independence Day weekend approaches, the governor believes extra caution is warranted, especially when advised by public health experts,” the Governor’s office said in a statement.
“For close to six months now we’ve been laser-focused on containing this virus, limiting infections and ultimately saving lives, and we’ve made tremendous progress,” said Dr. Arwady. “This order is another important measure in helping us further contain the spread of COVID-19 in Chicago.”
People who violate the order can expect some steep penalties.
They will be subject to fines of $100-$500 per day, up to $7,000. The only exceptions to the order will be permitted for travel for medical care and parental shared custody. Business travel to Chicago for essential workers is also on the exempt list.
People traveling from the following states, including Chicago residents returning from these states, are told to quarantine upon returning to Chicago:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
EFFECTIVE MONDAY: To preserve the gains Chicago has made, we’re issuing an Emergency Travel Order directing travelers entering or returning to Chicago from states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases to quarantine for a period of 14 days. More info→ https://t.co/5D7ng691f8 pic.twitter.com/CA26uT7RF6
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 2, 2020