Rockford, Illinois News

Chicago issues COVID-19 travel restrictions; hospitalizations remain stable

CHICAGO – Chicago officials have issued an emergency order that will direct travelers entering or returning to the city from COVID-19 hotspots to quarantine for 14 days. 

According to Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady’s office, the order will go into effect at 12:01 a.m., Monday, July 6.

The directive includes travelers from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

The order will not pertain to travelers catching connecting flights or driving through Chicago.

Those unable to quarantine are urged to postpone travel plans. Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office announced that anyone caught violating the order could be fined as much as $500 per day, however, it is not known how the city plans to enforce it.

Meanwhile, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan remains in effect even though a Clay County judge ruled Thursday that the governor exceeded his authority by extending stay-at-home orders for longer than 30 days. The judge, however, did not issue an injunction blocking the plan.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul said Thursday he will appeal the ruling, which stems from a lawsuit filed by Illinois Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia), opening up the possibility for the case to end up in the Illinois Supreme Court.

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations continue to remain stable. As of this report, 40% of the state’s total hospital beds are open. There are 349 people in intensive care across the state. Forty-six percent of ICU beds are open, as are 75% of available ventilators.

The state is currently averaging about 30,000 tests per day, which is yielding an infection rate of about 2.6%.