KANSAS ADDED TO CHICAGO QUARANTINE ORDER; WISCONSIN ON TRACK TO BE NEXT
Kansas on Tuesday became the 18th state on Chicago’s 14-day quarantine list — and Wisconsin could be next.
“Wisconsin is getting very close to being on this list. They could be added as soon as next week,” said Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.
“When I talk to folks in Wisconsin — whether that’s the state epidemiologist, whether that’s people just on an anecdotal level — we know that people are not wearing masks there at the level that they are here in Chicago.”
The 14-day quarantine order that now applies to anyone arriving in Chicago from 18 states is not being strictly enforced. Compliance is voluntary. No citations have been issued.
Even so, adding Wisconsin to the list would almost certainly make Chicagoans think twice before taking day trips to Lake Geneva or vacationing in Door County or the Wisconsin Dells.
Arwady issued the warning after joining Mayor Lori Lightfoot to enlist Chicago sports teams to convince young people responsible for a recent uptick in coronavirus cases to stop their risky behavior.
At a news conference at Guaranteed Rate Field, home of her beloved White Sox, Lightfoot donned a Sox jersey and hat to unveil the marketing campaign she called “We Are All One Team.”
The goal is to convince young people oblivious to the dangers of COVID-19 to start wearing face masks, stop socializing in large groups and maintain social distance to avoid putting themselves and their older and more vulnerable family members at risk.
People ages 18 to 29 make up 30% of new Chicago COVID-19 cases since June 15.
The campaign will use the star power of players and mascots from the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, Sox, Fire, Red Stars and Sky to drive home the message on social media channels and on billboards citywide.
The “on-the-ground” portion of the campaign will deploy “street teams of young adults to hot spots,” including bars, restaurants and parks. The ambassadors not only will remind their peers to follow health guidance but also distribute face masks, hand sanitizer, buttons and flyers to promote social distancing and mask-wearing.
Lightfoot has tried just about everything to get through to young people — some of whom, she has said, behave as if they’re oblivious or invincible.
She closed the lakefront, reopened it only for running, biking and walking and kept the beaches closed. She cut off citywide liquor sales after 9 p.m. and drove around the city personally, breaking up large groups.
She warned of a rollback, only to have young people continue their risky behavior, forcing her to retighten regulations on bars, restaurants, gyms and salons.
Now, she’s trying the education approach and hoping sports celebrity can carry the message over the goal line.
She also makes no apologies for prohibiting bars from serving customers indoors.
“Bars are a source of potential spread. Young people in the 18-to29 and 30-to-39 age range gather in those places. Policing that and getting compliance in bars where people are congregating — that’s what bars are about. That’s the social atmosphere that is created,” the mayor said.
“That’s why this new campaign ... is so important. We need to make sure that we are all in this together because COVID-19 is ruthless. It doesn’t spare anyone. And young people, you’re not immune. You’re not invincible. Not when it comes to this disease.”
Arwady pointed to what happened at a hair salon in Missouri when two stylists wearing face masks “found out they had COVID” while serving customers who were also wearing masks.
“They had been in close contact with 140 people. How many people got COVID? Zero. Largely because those masks help to limit the spread,” Arwady said.
“This is one of the easiest things that you can do and that all of us can do as Chicagoans as part of one team.”
Young people gather at Lake Michigan this month. A spike in Chicago’s COVID cases in the 18-to-29 age group has prompted renewed restrictions on bars — and a new outreach campaign by City Hall.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot stands with Sky Guy, mascot of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky, during a news conference Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field.