Twelve states were removed from Chicago’s travel advisory on Tuesday, reducing the city’s warning list to 34 states and one territory.
The city’s health department announced that Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota and the Wisconsin had all dropped below the threshold to be on the travel warning list.
An additional 18 states could be dropped next week if they remain below the threshold.
States are added to the advisory’s “amber list” when COVID measures exceed the threshold of 15 cases per day per 100,000 people. Anyone below that mark is on the “yellow” list, with public health officials still warning against non-essential travel.
The latest change comes amid declining COVID measures after omicron’s push this year, and a day after the city and Illinois lifted mask and vaccine mandates.
“It’s great that as daily rates of COVID-19 cases continue to decline in the United States, people are more comfortable and confident planning their trips in the spring and summer,” said the Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. “But more than half of the country is still under our travel advisory, and for unvaccinated travelers, that means they must continue to adhere to quarantine and testing guidelines.”
Just before the Labor Day holiday last year, the city updated its guidelines on what unvaccinated travelers visiting or returning from places on the advisory should do, adding new test and wear recommendations. in quarantine before and after the trip.
The city noted that “given the timeline for approval of vaccinations for children under 5,” children 5 and under are exempt from the advisory, but only if the adults they are traveling with are vaccinated. .
International travelers will be subject to US Centers for Disease Control guidelines, which require all travelers, regardless of vaccination status or nationality, to obtain a negative COVID-19 virus test no later than one day before travel in the USA.
According to Chicago guidelines, people who have not been vaccinated should do the following before traveling:
- Get tested 3 to 5 days before departure.
- ALL people, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other public transportation traveling to, within, or outside the United States and abroad. inside US transportation hubs such as airports and train stations.
- In Chicago, wear a mask in all indoor public places, regardless of vaccination status.
- Avoid crowds, try to stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) away from anyone not traveling with you, and wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
After travel, unvaccinated individuals should:
- Get tested with a virus test 3-5 days after the trip AND stay home and self-quarantine for 7 full days.
- Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
- If you test positive, isolate yourself to protect others from infection.
- If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
- Avoid being around people at increased risk of serious illness for 14 days, whether or not you get tested.
The city has advised all travelers to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and to self-isolate and get tested if they develop any after travel.
This week’s update to the travel advisory comes at a time when the average daily number of new cases in Chicago has fallen to 191, a marked difference from the 5,189 seen earlier this year.
However, that figure is still higher than the low of 34 the city experienced at the end of June last year.
Hospitalizations are averaging 16 a day and deaths have fallen to 3.14 a day, both marking significant declines from the omicron’s peak earlier this year.
The positivity rate in testing has fallen to 0.8%, a dramatic drop from the 21% seen during the outbreak.
The travel advisory is updated every Tuesday, with any changes taking effect the following Friday.