Lightfoot says Wisconsin being added to travel quarantine list
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.