Chicago warns against Wisconsin travel, cites COVID spike

Chicago officials cautioned city residents Tuesday about travel to Wisconsin, citing a recent COVID-19 spike in Illinois’ neighbor to the north.

The Chicago Department of Public Health stopped short of adding Wisconsin to its travel advisory list. There are 16 states on the list, including Utah, which was announced Tuesday. City officials said Chicago residents who travel to the states must quarantine for two weeks upon return to Chicago. Visitors from those states must do the same.

Violators of the order are threatened with fines of between $100 to $500 a day, up to $7,000 total.

Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, North Carolina and Texas were removed from the list on Tuesday.

Wisconsin was previously on Chicago’s list in late July and then removed the following month when cases dropped. On Sunday, Wisconsin reported its highest one-day case count with 1,582 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and a 21% positive test rate. The overall seven-day average for positive test that week was 14%.

“We will not formally add them today, but we are advising against travel to Wisconsin,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.

The sixteen states currently on the city's travel order are: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Utah.

Meanwhile, Illinois reported 1,466 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and 20 additional deaths. The state’s seven-day average of positive cases is 3.6%.

Overall, Illinois has reported 264,210 cases and 8,332 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the state’s Department of Public Health.

Also Tuesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced $220 million in grants for small businesses hit hard by the pandemic. Another $25 million will be available for businesses damaged during recent civil unrest. Applications will be available later this week.

Associated Press contributed to this report.