CHICAGO (CBS) — How will travel restrictions impact the holiday weekend?
CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey looks into Chicago’s restrictions on travelers from certain COVID-19 hot spots.
Public health experts said it’s still unclear how effective these types of quarantines really are. And we’re learning that enforcement here will look much different than in some other states.
Kelly Michelson, Director of Northwestern University’s Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities said he wasn’t surprised by the mandatory 14-day quarantine announced Thursday night.
“It just a signal for everybody to be vigilant,” Michelson said. But she added that right now, the science behind it is not definitive.
“I think we need more data about whether or not these kinds of travel bans are effective, and if they are effective what is the right limit,” Michelson said.
Chicago’s Department of Public Health Commissioner Doctor Allison Arwady issued an emergency travel order directing travelers entering or returning to Chicago from 15 states to quarantine for 14 days.
Why those states? They have a case rate greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.
“We cannot risk going backwards,” Arwady said.
It’s more lenient that the quarantine policy for New York, New Jersey & Connecticut, which are working off of list of states with a 10% positivity rate.
And New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio seems serious about enforcement.
“We’d like the Port Authority Police working with the airlines to get those names and share them with the city,” de Blasio said
But Doctor Arwady said Chicago wont be taking the same aggressive approach:
“We do not have a plan to for example look for out of state license plates and pulled people over we or to create a list of people who are traveling and track them down,” Arwady said. “Our goal is first of all to get this message out strongly that’s really the most important thing. We want people to be thinking twice about whether now is a time to travel.”
In part, because the limited data they do have is based on computer models.
“I think really what we need is more data on this to understand whether these kinds of limits are effective and if they are effective what the best way to implement them,” Michelson said.
What happens if you’re caught breaking the quarantine? In Chicago you could face fines of $100-$500 per day, up to $7,000.
By comparison in New York, the penalty could be up to $10,000.