Chicago’s Top Doc Discourages Wisconsin Vacations With New COVID-19 Quarantine Order

Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, speaks in Chicago
Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, speaks to reporters on March 24, 2020, in Chicago. On Tuesday, she encouraged Chicagoans to change outstanding vacation plans that include travel to Wisconsin. Tyler LaRiviere / Chicago Sun-Times via AP, Pool
Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, speaks in Chicago
Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, speaks to reporters on March 24, 2020, in Chicago. On Tuesday, she encouraged Chicagoans to change outstanding vacation plans that include travel to Wisconsin. Tyler LaRiviere / Chicago Sun-Times via AP, Pool

Chicago’s Top Doc Discourages Wisconsin Vacations With New COVID-19 Quarantine Order

Chicagoans with vacation plans in Wisconsin soon will be forced to quarantine for two weeks when they return.

The Badger State and three others on Tuesday became the latest additions to Chicago’s mandatory quarantine list.

The city is ordering people traveling to Chicago from certain states to self-quarantine for 14 days. Lightfoot’s administration also added Missouri, North Dakota and Nebraska to the list that now includes 22 states.

The new travel restrictions take effect Friday.

In a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning, Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady encouraged Chicagoans to change outstanding vacation plans that include travel to Wisconsin.

“And I know that’s disappointing and hard for people, but it is unfortunately where we are. The state of Wisconsin has not even put a mask requirement in place, and there is not a sign that they are turning their outbreak around.”

Arwady suggested people consider visiting Michigan instead this summer, where the state’s requirements to wear face masks to prevent COVID-19 mirror Illinois’ own guidelines.

If you can’t change your plans, Arwady encouraged Chicagoans to notify their employers about their trip and ask about teleworking opportunities for when they return.

People commuting for work or in shared parental custody agreements are exempt from the Wisconsin quarantine. Given the state’s close proximity and shared commuter rails, it’s the only state with such a carveout.

Travelers who defy the quarantine order could face fines between $100 and $500 a day, for a maximum penalty of $7,000, Arwady said. Though the city has been imposing these travel restrictions since the first week of July, no one has been fined.

Claudia Morell covers city hall for WBEZ. Follow her @claudiamorell.