The travel order is voluntary and directs travelers entering or returning to Chicago from states with a surge in new COVID cases to quarantine for 14 days. 

The order applies to individuals coming from Wisconsin to Chicago for non-work purposes and Chicago residents returning from Wisconsin, unless they are an essential worker. Exceptions include travel for medical care and parental shared custody, and for travelers passing through Wisconsin from non-quarantine states if they were there for less than 24 hours. The quarantine order is largely voluntary—the city has not been enforcing it with fines or fees.

“We have issued warning letters where we are aware of people who may have violated quarantine,” said Arwady. “We have the ability to enforce with fines, but it is not where I have put a majority of our enforcement resources.”

Arwady encouraged all Chicagoans to get their flu shots before the end of October, but especially children aged 6 months to four years.

With Halloween around the corner, Arwady also said to expect guidelines for celebrations here in the coming weeks. While the city’s percent positivity rate has improved (down to 4.6 percent from roughly 5 percent in recent weeks), the state’s seven-day rolling daily case average is 287, above the goal rate of under 200 cases per day.

The CDC released celebration guidelines for the fall and winter yesterday. Arwady said she was “more worried about the adults than the children, to be perfectly honest,” because of the potential for large indoor gatherings and people letting their guard down.

“Right now we’re at a place where we’re feeling pretty good heading into our fall season,” Arwady says. “We’re thinking in a more positive light right now.”

The 18 states covered by the city’s travel order includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.