You might want to cancel that Sunday drive to Wisconsin to see the fall colors.
For the second time in less than two months, Wisconsin is slated to go back on Chicago’s 14-day quarantine list, the Sun-Times has learned.
Wisconsin’s second appearance on Chicago’s travel advisory list comes one week after Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady warned the state it had one week to get its act together.
It apparently didn’t happen. That means Wisconsin is rejoining a list that is triggered by averaging more than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period.
“We are watching Wisconsin with huge concern. They had their highest-ever number of cases of COVID reported last Thursday. They’ve had percent positivities in the 13-to-17% range,” Arwady said last week.
In states that are “directly bordering,” the city has taken pains to give Chicagoans who travel there “pre-warning.” Such states have been put on notice for a week and added to the list the following week if they can’t turn things around.
“Indiana was able to make those improvements. Did not need to be added. We can hope Wisconsin turns it around, but” it doesn’t look good, Arwady said last week.
“My expectation is that we will basically put people on alert for Wisconsin. That if they are not able to turn this around, they would be added to the list the following week. But the bottom line is really from right now, if people can avoid the travel [to Wisconsin], they should do so. It won’t be probably in the formal quarantine order unless it stays up for another week. But, things are not looking good in Wisconsin broadly.”
Despite an earlier threat to levy fines, the travel advisory is more educational than real. Compliance is strictly voluntary.
Even so, adding Wisconsin to the list for a second time is likely to make Chicagoans think twice before grabbing a bratwurst at Mars Cheese Castle, traveling to Lake Geneva or vacationing in Door County.
Chicagoans returning from states on the travel advisory list are asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Exceptions are made for those who work in Wisconsin or commute to jobs there.
Wisconsin will be rejoining a list that as of Tuesday already included 16 other states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Utah. The list is updated every Tuesday and changes take effect the following Friday at 12:01 a.m.