The levels of COVID hysteria in the United Sates show no signs of abating, as Chicago’s Democrat Mayor attempts to do what no other city, or state, has attempted to date – to enforce travel quarantines on its 3 million residents.
If other cities adopt this policy, then very soon, by default, travel inside the United States – and internationally into the country – could stagnate very quickly, thus exacerbating the current economic depression. Will officials also police travel between cities too?
Chicago Tribune reports…
IMAGE: Embattled Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot appears to be over-reaching on lockdown policies.
Traveling outside Illinois? Chicago residents must quarantine after visiting 22 states. Here’s what you need to know to avoid a large fine.
Vacations, rarely cheap, soon could get a whole lot more expensive for rule-bucking Chicago residents.
According to an order from Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the city’s Health Department, those who travel to any of the 22 states deemed a COVID-19 risk must implement a mandatory two-week quarantine upon their return or face hefty fines. The original order, which named 15 states where COVID-19 cases were spiking, was announced right before the long Fourth of July holiday weekend, catching off-guard many Chicagoans who already made plans to travel out of state.
Lightfoot’s administration Tuesday added Wisconsin, as well as three other states, to the list of 22 states considered risky enough to warrant self-quarantine because they had an average of more than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 resident population over a rolling seven-day period. Any state that in the previous week had an infection rate greater than that will be added to the evolving list each Tuesday and the emergency travel order goes into effect the newly-added states the following Friday.
Here’s what you need to know about the city’s quarantine policies.
City says people will be fined
This week, that includes Wisconsin, Missouri, North Dakota and Nebraska. Anyone who spends more than 24 hours in those states should stay inside for two weeks upon their return or risk a fine of $100 to $500 per day.
Yet despite the list’s growing size, enforcement of the order so far has been nonexistent, save for some billboards and signs that Lightfoot said were intended to “educate” people to comply.
In a call with reporters Tuesday morning, Dr. Allison Arwady, the city health commissioner said the city intends to give the order some teeth to back up what had been idle enforcement threats. Though resources dedicated to identifying violators are limited, the city now is looking to set a precedent by levying hefty fines against travelers who willfully defied compliance with the self-quarantine order.
The daily fines can add up to $7,000 if there are enough examples of a person venturing out in public when they should be staying indoors, according to the statute. If city contact tracers get information that people who’ve caught the virus were in proximity to someone from a quarantine state and flouted the rules, they’ll issue a citation, Arwady said.
They’ll also be on the lookout for people who are on social media “flagrantly posting their social activities, clearly out and about in Chicago after being in settings that are subject to our quarantine order, within the time frame,” she said. Investigators will look into any reports about city workers not following the guidelines, the health commissioner said…
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