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*** UPDATED x1 *** Chicago couldn’t come close to meeting its own metric on traveler restrictions

Monday, Jul 6, 2020

* Last week

People coming to Chicago from 15 states experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases must self-quarantine for 14 days upon entering the city beginning next week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced late Thursday afternoon.

The city ordered the quarantine for anyone who has spent more than 24 hours in the following states before arriving in Chicago: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

The order, which will go into effect on Monday, does not apply to people who are at the airport for a connecting flight or driving through the city on their way elsewhere, city officials said. […]

Anyone violating the order could face fines of $100 to $500 per day, up to a maximum $7,000, the city said.

The order takes effect today.

* The city explained how the states were designated on its website

A state will be designated if it has a case rate greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 resident population, per day, over a 7-day rolling average.

That metric is an odd choice for a couple of reasons. First, the Illinois Department of Public Health flags counties with a warning sign when they surpass 50 cases per 100,000 residents over seven days, more than three times the threshold Chicago is using.

Second, at last check, Chicago itself was at 52 cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days.

Not to mention that a large number of Illinois counties also wouldn’t qualify. Go see for yourself.

*** UPDATE *** Looks like there’s a difference in methodology here. From the Chicago Department of Public Health…

Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order applies to states that have a case rate greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases PER DAY per 100,000 population. We use the average per day over a 7-day period, consistent with practices around the country. In Chicago, we’re currently adding <200 cases per day. With 2.7m people, we would hit this cutoff at more than 400 cases per day, which is more than twice the rate of new cases we are at now. (15 cases per day x 2.7m population/100,000=405 cases per day.) Using cutoffs like this is very consistent with how other states have approached this.

Sorry about that.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

15 Comments
  1. - Montrose - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:14 am:

    Chicago has done a variety of smart, actionable things to help contain the span read of the virus. This ban is not one of them.


  2. - Huh? - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:21 am:

    Good luck trying to enforce the travel restrictions. When do the fence and border stations go up? /s


  3. - Amalia - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:25 am:

    are they tracing the people who come back in? otherwise, come on….


  4. - Arock - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:26 am:

    Maybe they should abolish weekends, they seem to be more dangerous than Covid right now, especially for younger people.


  5. - TNR - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:28 am:

    Maybe the best way the mayor could promote health among Chicagoans is to encourage them to go to some of those states on her quarantine list. They’d be safer Taking vacation there than they would be walking down Michigan Avenue.


  6. - Responsa - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:29 am:

    With the nationally publicized ramped up crime problem across Chicago including in “tourist areas”, Lightfoot should be doing everything she can to calm and encourage visitors to come and spend money here–not discourage them. This is unbelievably not good policy, Lori.


  7. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:36 am:

    Even without strict enforcement, voluntary compliance may still make a difference.

    In terms of Chicago not qualifying — I could see this being an effort to try to prevent the introduction if infection through a “new” source creating an all new chain to contact trace that may be more difficult due to travel.

    Asking folks to wear masks without any enforcement (thanks local officials!) has been successful to some degree as there are still a lot of people in a lot of communities abiding by public health recommendations.

    Saying “please don’t travel to here if you’re from one of these places” will perhaps encourage some folks to change their plans, even without enforcement.

    The other consideration is that public health officials are sitting at work looking at what Fauci described as his “worst nightmare” and trying to find something to do to save lives — so even if not super effective, the intent to do something to save lives is still driving this especially as we all slowly start to normalize the deaths of tens of thousands of our countrywomen and the sacrifices we forced upon hundreds of our healthcare workers.


  8. - iggy - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 10:38 am:

    ha. i’m sure there are tens of people rushing to get into Chicago


  9. - muon - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 11:10 am:

    NIU just announced that they were going to follow the Chicago travel guidelines for its campuses, even though none are in Chicago. “Although NIU is not technically located in the area affected by the travel order, many of our employees and students live in or near the Chicago area. We expect members of the NIU community to follow local, state and federal guidelines that pertain to them, and we will support them in doing so.”


  10. - Transfer - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 11:21 am:

    How does this impact long haul truck deliveries?


  11. - JoanP - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 11:36 am:

    =ha. i’m sure there are tens of people rushing to get into Chicago=

    I give tours at an historic house in Chicago. We re-opened at the end of June. Every person on the tours I’ve give so far has been from out of state.


  12. - TNR - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 11:43 am:

    Meanwhile, I had a relative who lives in Chicago test positive about ten days ago. No calls from a contact tracer. I’d wish the Chicago Dept of Public Health would spend more time on getting that up and running and less time on constructing unenforceable and somewhat illogical travel bans.


  13. - Hard D - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 11:55 am:

    She continues to show that she likes to one up Pritzker rather then get results. With the gang land killings of young innocent children continue she’s worried about a travel ban that’s impossible to enforce. Please Mayor pay attention to all these young innocent lives being lost to violence and not a worthless ban


  14. - phocion - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 12:20 pm:

    How odd the Mayor didn’t impose travel restrictions on people from NY and NJ during their most frightful and deadly periods of COVID.


  15. - SAP - Monday, Jul 6, 20 @ 4:12 pm:

    Mayor Lightfoot is dealing with 2 major health crises right now. There is plenty to criticize on the COVID Quarantine, but whataboutgunviolence is not a fair criticism.

    Leave the dog whistles at home.


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