CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Department of Public Health announced nine states have been added to its travel advisory as COVID cases rise across the country.
The city's emergency COVID-19 travel order was changed to an advisory on June 29. The change was a result of a third consecutive reporting period where no U.S. states or territories has recorded 15 or more COVID cases per day per 100,000 residents.
The nine states added Tuesday are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming. They join five other states and one territory: Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, Missouri and the Virgin Islands.
Any unvaccinated people traveling from those states are advised to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago or quarantine for a 10-day period upon arrival.
Any states or territories with fewer than 15 cases per 100,000 residents per day are in the Yellow Tier. Travelers must still follow masking rules on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation.
And while the CDC is also recommending people in those states wear masks indoors in public areas, Chicago Dept. of Public Health commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said at this point, that is not necessary here.
"I wear it, I'm used to wearing it, but it's not a recommendation we're making at the population level," Arwady said.
Arwady said that's primarily because about two-thirds of eligible Chicago residents have been vaccinated. She said research shows 97% of COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized or who die are not vaccinated. She is hoping that message reaches the remaining Chicagoans who have not yet chosen to get the vaccine.
"I want people to be concerned, but I don't want there to be unnecessary panic," Arwady said. "I want people to get vaccinated that is the most important thing."
And she says while the city is still in good shape, the numbers are rising here like they are in the rest of the country primarily because of the delta variant. She expects Chicago to move from low to moderate risk in the next week - all the more reason to get vaccinated.