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3 more states added to Chicago’s quarantine travel list as Illinois sees another 39 COVID deaths

Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said Tuesday that Indiana may soon be added to Chicago’s quarantine travel list, too.

Nurse Jeanette Averett delivers dinner trays in the COVID-19 unit at Roseland Community Hospital on the Far South Side in April.
Nurse Jeanette Averett delivers dinner trays in the COVID-19 unit at Roseland Community Hospital on the Far South Side in April.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday announced that another 1,492 state residents have tested positive for COVID-19, with another 39 dying of the virus in the last day.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Department of Public Health added three more states to its 14-day quarantine list — and hinted that Illinois’ neighbor to the east could soon be added too.

Of the 39 new deaths in Illinois, eight were Cook County residents: all but one were in their 70s or 80s; the eighth Cook County victim was a woman in her 30s, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Since the pandemic first took hold, 8,064 Illinoisans have died of the virus. The state has seen more than 236,000 positive cases.

As of Tuesday, the state’s test positivity rate is 4.3%, according to IDPH. At last count, more than 1,500 people in Illinois are hospitalized for the coronavirus. Of those, 362 patients are in an intensive care unit, and 146 on ventilators.

Still, the recovery rate for Illinois coronavirus patients is 95%. Most people who contract it show mild symptoms or none at all.

More than half the state’s total deaths — 4,396 — have occurred at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, where more than 27,000 cases have been confirmed overall.

Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the city Department of Public Health, said the three states added to the 14-day travel quarantine list — North Carolina, Hawaii and Nebraska — bring the total number to 21, in addition to Puerto Rico. Changes to the list are announced on Tuesdays and take effect the following Friday.

Arwady also warned Indiana could soon be added.

A state makes the list when it sees 15 positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. And though Indiana passed that threshold in recent days, Arwady said the city held off instituting the 14-day quarantine rule — in part, because of changes to Indiana’s data reporting.

What’s more, Arwady said, the uptick in Indiana cases appears to be concentrated near colleges and universities, including Notre Dame and Ball State.

“I certainly, though, want to let Chicagoans know that we have concerns about Indiana and particularly would encourage you not to to travel to college and university towns in Indiana,” Arwady said.

“If we don’t see improvement across the state, we will then add them next Tuesday, so we’re keeping an eye on it, really hoping that that is more of a data reporting anomaly, but we have some real concern there,” she added.

Meanwhile, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office on Tuesday announced more stringent measures would soon be in place in several downstate counties as the area grapples with a sustained 9.6% positivity rate.

To stem the tide in Region 4, bars and restaurants no longer will be allowed to serve customers indoors, and establishments must close by 11 p.m. Casinos must also close by 11 p.m., and all social gatherings must be limited to 25 people or fewer, or remain below 25% of a room’s capacity.

Those new measures go into effect Wednesday.