CHICAGO (CBS) — COVID is not taking a holiday as cases across the country continue to go up, leading to 48 states now on the Chicago Travel Advisory.
Last week, 47 states were on Chicago’s Travel Advisory as the nation is gripped by COVID-19 and many new cases are from the Omicron variant.
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The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) added Louisiana and South Carolina – as well as the Virgin Islands, to its Travel Advisory today. The list stands at 48 states and three territories.
It means every state or territory except for Guam and Montana are on the list.
“Three states – Alaska, Idaho, and Mississippi – are eligible to come off the advisory next week,” according to the CDPH.
“If you must travel during this time, please make sure you are fully vaccinated – and that includes a booster shot,” said CDPH Commissioner Doctor Allison Arwady. “You don’t know the vaccination status of your fellow travelers, so take the extra precaution of wearing your mask whenever you are in enclosed spaces with other people. If you’re not vaccinated, you probably shouldn’t be traveling.”
The daily COVID case rates have be below 15 per 100,000 residents for two weeks in a row for a state to be removed from the advisory.
The U.S. average daily case rate per 100,000 residents is 62.2, nearly double what it was three weeks ago (31.3). Illinois’ daily case rate currently is 87.1, also more than double what it was three weeks ago (39.2). Chicago’s daily case rate is 140.3, a more than 500 percent increase from three weeks ago (23.2.)
More information can be found on https://t.co/srFN0w4q3B
— Chicago Department of Public Health – CDPH (@ChiPublicHealth) December 28, 2021
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Per the Chicago Travel Advisory, unvaccinated travelers should be tested for COVID-19 before and after travel from any state on the advisory list and should quarantine upon arrival in Chicago. For domestic travel, the quarantine and testing recommendations do not apply to fully vaccinated travelers.
“For international travel, the CDC now requires that all travelers, regardless of vaccination status or citizenship, get a negative COVID-19 viral test no more than one day before travel into the United States. CDPH guidelines follow CDC requirements for international travel,” said the CDPH.
Below is the CDPH’s guidance:
Before travel, unvaccinated individuals should:
- Get tested 1-3 days prior to departure.
For international travel, ALL TRAVELERS, REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS OR CITIZENSHIP need to get a negative COVID-19 viral test no more than 1 day before travel into the United States.
According to the CDC, you should NOT travel if:
- You have been exposed to COVID-19, unless you are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 within the past 90 days
- You tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t ended isolation (even if you are fully vaccinated)
- You are awaiting results of a COVID-19 test.
- ALL individuals regardless of vaccination status must wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
- In Chicago, wear a mask in all indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
- Avoid crowds as much as you can and wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
After travel, unvaccinated individuals should:
- Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days.
- Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
- If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
- If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel. Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
- All travelers are advised to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms after travel and isolate and get tested if they develop symptoms.
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CDPH holds regular vaccination events across the city and vaccine is also widely available through pharmacies and health care providers. In-home vaccination is also available free of charge to all Chicago residents through Protect Chicago At Home. Up to 10 people at a residence (age 5 and up) can receive the Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.