Chicago’s travel advisory has been updated again, and while there are still 48 states and three territories on the city’s advisory list, the locations included have changed again.
That’s because Connecticut and the District of Columbia, which were both removed from the advisory last week, are now back in the “amber box,” which recommends unvaccinated travelers to those places test negative. for COVID-19 and quarantine.
At the same time, however, California and Puerto Rico collapsed.
States are added to the notice’s “amber list” when COVID metrics exceed the threshold of 15 cases per day per 100,000 people. Anyone below that mark is on the “yellow” list, with public health officials still warning against non-essential travel.
“Because California and Puerto Rico have kept their daily COVID case rates below 15.0 per 100,000 population for two consecutive weeks, they have been taken off the travel advisory list,” the Department of Chicago Public Health in a statement. “Daily case rates for Connecticut and DC have fallen by more than 15 per 100,000 residents over the past week, and they have reversed the travel advisory.”
Previously, the advisory was updated to include all US states and territories.
“The states on the travel advisory may change from week to week, but one thing that doesn’t change is the fact that if you want to travel freely without needing to be tested or quarantined for a week, get vaccinated, ”the CDPH said. Commissioner Dr Allison Arwady. “Being fully immunized when traveling is like having an ASD pre-check – it’s not a free pass, and you should always be careful and follow all safety guidelines to protect yourself and others. , but it certainly makes everything easier. and you will have less to worry about.
States and territories currently subject to the notice include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands.
Just before Labor Day, the city updated its guidelines on what unvaccinated travelers visiting or returning from such places should do, adding new testing and quarantine recommendations before and after travel.
Depending on the city, before traveling, unvaccinated people should:
- Get tested 3 to 5 days before departure.
- ALL individuals, regardless of immunization status, should wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other public transportation to, within or outside the United States and within the United States. American transportation hubs such as airports and train stations.
- In Chicago, wear a mask in all indoor public places, regardless of immunization status.
- Avoid crowds, try to stay at least 6 feet / 2 meters (about 2 arm’s lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you, and wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60 % alcohol).
After travel, unvaccinated people should:
- Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and quarantine yourself for a full 7 days.
- Even if your test is negative, stay home and quarantine yourself for 7 days.
- If your test is positive, self-isolate to protect others from infection.
- If you don’t get tested, stay home and quarantine yourself for 10 days after travel.
- Avoid being around people at increased risk for serious illness for 14 days, whether or not you are tested.
The city has advised all travelers to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and to self-isolate and get tested if they develop any after travel.
“We have seen and know that travel is a significant risk factor for acquiring COVID,” said Arwady. “If you decide not to get tested, the recommendation is actually to stay home and quarantine yourself for 10 days after travel, and you should avoid being around anyone who is at increased risk of serious consequences. COVID for 14 days after travel whether or not you are. get tested or not. Obviously, we want anyone traveling to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID and get tested if you develop symptoms. “
This week’s travel advisory update comes at a time when the average daily number of new cases in Chicago fell to 414 per day – an 8% drop from the previous week, according to data from the city Tuesday.
That figure is still more than 12 times the low of 34 the city saw at the end of June, but remains lower than the more than 700 cases per day the city saw in the most recent increase earlier this year.
Hospitalizations in Chicago are down 50% from the previous week and deaths are down 3% from the previous week, according to city data. The test positivity rate fell to 3% this week, from 3.7% last week.
Arwady noted last month that about 99% of new COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths are in unvaccinated people.
The travel advisory is updated every Tuesday, with any changes taking effect the following Friday.