Suburban Cook County issues emergency guidance for travelers from states with surging COVID-19 rates

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Suburban Cook County has issued emergency travel guidance that mirrors orders in Chicago and other states to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Cook County Department of Public Health announced Friday that travelers entering or returning to suburban Cook County from states reporting surging coronavirus cases should self-quarantine for two weeks. It applies to suburban Cook County, but excludes Evanston or Skokie.

RELATED: 2 new states added to city's travel quarantine order for travelers from states with surging COVID-19 rates

Health officials said the guidance will remain in effect until further notice.

The guidance applies to travelers and suburban Cook County residents returning from the following states:

- Alabama
- Arkansas
- Arizona
- California
- Florida
- Georgia
- Idaho

- Louisiana
- Mississippi
- North Carolina
- Nevada
- South Carolina
- Tennessee
- Texas
- Utah
- Iowa

- Oklahoma



The guidance applies to states with more than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents per day, over a 7-day rolling average, health officials said.

Similar to Chicago's order, there are exceptions for essential workers and other circumstances.

The full list of states, information about exceptions and further details are available at www.cookcountypublichealth.org.

"Our positivity rates are quite low, but that can change, as we have seen in neighboring states," said Dr. Kiran Joshi, Cook County Department of Public Health co-lead and senior medical officer. "Prevention is the best medicine. We ask everyone to avoid travel to the most affected areas. If you must travel, quarantine for 14 days to protect others and help us stop the spread of COVID-19."

RELATED: Emergency travel order takes effect for travelers from states with high COVID-19 infections

Chicago issued a mandatory travel quarantine order earlier this month. The city said that individuals found in violation of the order are subject to fines of $100 - $500 per day, up to $7,000.

Unlike Chicago, Cook County's guidance is a recommendation and will not be enforced. Travelers will not be subject to fines, the county said.

Both Chicago and Cook County health officials will update the list of affected states every Tuesday afternoon on their respective websites.
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