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Cook County Public Health issues emergency travel guidance for travelers to suburban Cook County from COVID-19 hotspots

Saturday, July 18, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Public Health issues emergency travel guidance for travelers to suburban Cook County from COVID-19 hotspots

Guidance mirrors action taken in Chicago and other states to prevent disease from spreading

Oak Forest, IL – Cook County Department of Public Health officials today issued emergency travel guidance directing travelers entering or returning to suburban Cook County from states with surging COVID-19 rates to quarantine for 14 days since their last contact within the identified.

The guidance is consistent with Chicago’s July 2nd order, and applies to states that have greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents per day, over a 7-day rolling average. There are exceptions for essential workers traveling for work purposes and other specific circumstances.

While Cook County, including Chicago and suburbs, and Illinois have seen steep declines in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths, other parts of the country are seeing a surge in new cases, and the country overall, is setting new highs for daily COVID-19 cases.

“We have come a long way in Cook County and Illinois and we want to keep it that way,” said Cook County Department of Public Health Co-Lead and Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Rachel Rubin. “It is summer and we know people want to travel, but we have to remain vigilant to keep our gains and avoid having to close places we’ve only just reopened.”

Travelers from the following states, including suburban Cook County (except Evanston and Skokie) residents returning from these states, will be directed to quarantine upon arrival to:

·Alabama

·Arkansas

·Arizona

·California

·Florida

·Georgia

·Idaho

·Louisiana

·Mississippi

·North Carolina

·Nevada

·South Carolina

·Tennessee

·Texas

·Utah

·Iowa

·Oklahoma

The list of included states will be updated on the CCDPH website at www.cookcountypublichealth.org every Tuesday afternoon.

As of July 16, there were 156,693 cases in Illinois, 40,805 cases in suburban Cook County and 55,857 cases in Chicago.

“Our positivity rates are quite low, but that can change, as we have seen in neighboring states,” said Cook County Department of Public Health Co-Lead and Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Kiran Joshi. “Prevention is the best medicine. We ask everyone to avoid travel to the most affected areas. If you must travel, quarantine for 14 days to protect others and help us stop the spread of COVID-19.”

For answers to frequently asked questions, please visit www.cookcountypublichealth.org/communicable-diseases/covid-19/covid-19-travel-guidance

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