Officials in Chicago, Illinois, have issued orders to amend their travel restrictions, effective Jan. 15, as part of their efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Statewide restrictions in Illinois remain unchanged as of Jan. 13.
Under the new directives in Chicago, US states and territories will be divided into only two levels, instead of previous orders that divided them into three levels. States and territories with an average of more than 15 daily new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents will be at the Orange Level, and travelers from those areas must self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in the city or have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to their arrival. States and territories with an average of less than 15 daily new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents will be at the Yellow Level, and travelers from those areas will not be required to self-quarantine or take a COVID-19 prior to traveling.
Effective Jan. 15, 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico will be at the Orange Level, while only Hawaii will be at the Yellow Level. Officials update the list every two weeks.
Local officials in Chicago maintain a stay-at-home advisory until at least Jan. 22. Additionally in Chicago, nonessential businesses must close between 2300-0600; indoor and outdoor social gatherings of more than 10 people are banned.
State-level restrictions in Illinois remain unchanged; however, authorities may ease restrictions in certain regions in mid-January. The current protocols are part of Tier 3 of the state's resurgence mitigation plan. The following measures remain in place statewide:
Bars and restaurants must close daily between 2300-0600. Indoor service is prohibited. All customers must be seated at outdoor tables placed at least 1.8 meters (6 feet) apart with no more than six persons at each. Reservations are required.
Gyms and fitness centers may operate at 25-percent capacity, but no group activities are allowed. Reservations are required, and all customers must wear facemasks at all times.
Personal care businesses may operate at 25-percent capacity or 25 clients, whichever is less.
Retail stores may operate at 25-percent capacity; grocery stores and pharmacies may operate at 50-percent capacity.
Hotels may allow registered guests only, and event and meeting spaces must close.
Gaming centers and casinos, as well as other indoor recreational businesses, such as theaters, cinemas, indoor museums, and amusement centers, must close. Outdoor activities are allowed at 25-percent capacity, and outdoor group activities are limited to 10 people. All persons must wear facemasks.
Gatherings at home must be limited to members of the household only. Meeting rooms, banquet halls, private clubs, and similar establishments may not host gatherings. Funerals are limited to 10 family members.
All employees of office-based businesses that can work from home are encouraged to do so.
All indoor sports and recreational activities must be canceled; outdoor activities may continue with a maximum of 10 people.
Childcare centers may continue operating, but local officials may impose additional restrictions.
State officials have also issued a stay-at-home advisory, recommending all residents to remain at home as much as possible and leave their residences only for essential tasks.
All operating establishments must comply with strict mandates to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, including the use of protective facemasks or other personal protective equipment and the enforcement of social-distancing guidelines, among other things. Such measures may vary by industry or type of business.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.
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