Chicago reinstates COVID-19 travel advisory for two states

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A recent uptick in coronavirus cases put Missouri and Arkansas back on Chicago's travel advisory list. 

Starting Friday, unvaccinated travelers from either of those states will have to show upon arrival a negative COVID-19 test performed within the last 72 hours or quarantine for a 10-day period upon arrival, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). 

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Prior to Tuesday, it had been "several weeks" since any state had been on the Windy City's travel advisory list, according to health officials.

However, the two states recently surpassed the city’s mark of at least "15 cases per day, per 100,000 residents," prompting concern amongst Chicago health officials. 

The city fully reopened on July 11 after having the "lowest positivity rate since the beginning of the pandemic," the health department tweeted. 

In order to "support Chicago’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19," the travel order will apply to "anyone coming into the City of Chicago from designated states with a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19." 

Although there are only two states on the list, officials noted that other states could be added if cases continue to rise, including Nevada, Louisiana, Utah and Florida. 

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Cases are also rising in Central and Southern Illinois.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and this only goes to show that the virus is still very much a threat and that we must all remain vigilant against it," Dr. Allison Arwady, the health department’s commissioner, said in a statement. "That means getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public settings if you are not fully vaccinated."

Meanwhile, CDPH officials continue to urge Americans to get vaccinated and adhere to mask mandates on planes, buses and trains, and while inside transportation hubs such as airports and stations. 

"We continue to stress the importance of getting vaccinated for COVID, and adherence to all masking guidelines for travel," the health department tweeted. "While Chicago's case rate remains low, areas with lower vaccination rates are seeing surges." 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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