Light­foot says Wis­con­sin be­ing added to travel quar­an­tine list

Chicago Sun-Times - - FRONT PAGE - BY FRAN SPIELMAN, CITY HALL RE­PORTER fspiel­man@sun­ | @fran­spiel­man

Wis­con­sin will be­come the 19th state on Chicago’s 14-day quar­an­tine list, and In­di­ana is be­ing closely watched, Mayor Lori Light­foot said Mon­day.

One week af­ter Health Com­mis­sioner Dr. Al­li­son Ar­wady warned Wis­con­sin was “get­ting very close to” join­ing the du­bi­ous list, Light­foot said Wis­con­sin has ar­rived there.

That or­der that now ap­plies to any­one ar­riv­ing in Chicago from 18 states is not be­ing strictly en­forced. Com­pli­ance is vol­un­tary.

The mayor made the dis­clo­sure when asked about a group of physi­cians urg­ing an­other na­tional shut­down. She said she “un­der­stands the sen­ti­ment” be­hind that chill­ing rec­om­men­da­tion.

“What we’re see­ing is cities and towns — par­tic­u­larly across the South through the South­west and on to Cal­i­for­nia — re­ally hav­ing sig­nif­i­cant strug­gles now be­cause many of those com­mu­ni­ties took a very dif­fer­ent ap­proach to the one that Chicago took. We’re also see­ing an in­crease in states around us. Wis­con­sin, for ex­am­ple, is gonna go on our quar­an­tine list later this week,” the mayor said.

“Even in the sub­ur­ban Cook [County] area we have some con­cerns about what we’re see­ing . . . My hope, how­ever, is that we will all work in con­cert to re­ally go back to what got us to a po­si­tion of safety: so­cial dis­tanc­ing, wear­ing face cov­er­ings in pub­lic, mak­ing sure you’re ex­er­cis­ing hand hy­giene. COVID-19 is very much real. It is dan­ger­ous. It is part of our present and it’s gonna be part of our fu­ture. So we need to make sure we’re do­ing the steps now that are nec­es­sary to start to slow again the spread of this virus.”

The an­nounce­ment about Wis­con­sin begs the ques­tion about In­di­ana, where a mask man­date took ef­fect Mon­day.

“We’re watch­ing all of our neigh­bors very, very care­fully. And we’re gonna be very pru­dent. We set out a set of stan­dards,” Light­foot said.

“In­di­ana doesn’t quite rise to that level, which is a good thing for res­i­dents of the Hoosier state. But we’re watch­ing all of our neigh­bors very care­fully.”

Adding Wis­con­sin to the list will al­most cer­tainly make Chicagoans think twice be­fore tak­ing day trips to Lake Geneva or va­ca­tion­ing in Door County or the Wis­con­sin Dells.

“We have not seen any fines yet and re­ally what we’re try­ing to do is raise peo­ple’s con­scious­ness to re­ally try to ed­u­cate them into com­pli­ance. We’re do­ing that by the weekly an­nounce­ments. We’re do­ing it with our trav­el­ers at our air­ports and our train sta­tions,” the mayor said.

“Our hope is that peo­ple un­der­stand it, and I know that peo­ple do be­cause I get ques­tions all the time: ‘If I go here, what are the con­se­quences? If I do this, what’s gonna hap­pen?’ This has re­ally got to be about not just fin­ing peo­ple into com­pli­ance. It’s about ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple to un­der­stand the risk fac­tors that are out there and the risk that they’re tak­ing for their own health [and] the health of ev­ery sin­gle other per­son that they come into con­tact with.”

In­di­ana’s mask or­der ap­plies to any­one ages 8 and older in any in­door pub­lic or busi­ness ar­eas and at out­door pub­lic spa­ces when suf­fi­cient dis­tanc­ing can’t be main­tained.

Wis­con­sin on Mon­day be­came the lat­est state added to Chicago’s travel ad­vi­sory for COVID-19.

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