By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 12,623 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including 79 additional deaths.

Image/Robert Herriman

This brings the state total to 511,183 cases, including 10,289 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from November 3 – November 9 is 12.0%.

In Chicago, the Department of Public Health announced it is revamping its Emergency Travel Order to better reflect the changing nature of the pandemic and provide more specific guidance to travelers entering or returning to the city amid a surge in COVID-19 cases locally and nationally. Under the new system, states will be placed in three categories – red, orange and yellow – based on the status of the outbreak in the states and how the data compares to the situation in Chicago.

Previously, states with more than 15 new COVID cases per day, per 100,000 population automatically went on the quarantine list, requiring visitors and Chicagoans returning from these states to quarantine for 14 days. The new guidance is as follows:

  • Yellow: States with a rolling 7-day average less than 15 cases/day/100k residents.
    • No quarantine or pre-arrival test required. Maintain strict masking, social distancing and avoidance of in-person gatherings
  • Orange: States have a rolling 7-day average between 15 cases/day/100k residents and the Chicago rolling 7-day average (currently 60)
    • 14-day quarantine OR pre-arrival negative test no more than 72 hours before arrival in Chicago with strict masking, social distancing and avoidance of in-person gatherings
  • Red: States have a higher 7-day rolling average of positive cases/day/100k Chicago residents.
    • 14-day quarantine

“First and foremost, I would like people to avoid travel at this time if at all possible. But by creating a tiered system and using Chicago’s case rate as a category threshold, it allows us to be responsive to the changing dynamics of the pandemic,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady. M.D. “This measure is a response to increased rates of COVID-19 transmission in Chicago and across the nation, and it sets up measures to mitigate transmission in our city.”

The new guidance will go into effect on Friday, November 13, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., and it will be updated every two weeks, although this initial version will be updated after one week to get on a two-week cycle that will avoid conflict with the Thanksgiving weekend. Regardless of category, people are urged to avoid non-essential travel and to follow standard COVID-19 mitigation practices such as wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, and social distancing.

Based on current data, this is where states fall:

  • 6 yellow states (no requirements): New York, California, New Hampshire, Maine, Hawaii, Vermont
  • 31 orange states and Puerto Rico (must quarantine or receive a pre-arrival negative test result): see map below
  • 12 red states (must quarantine): North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, Minnesota, Utah, Idaho, Kansas, Indiana

Chicago has experienced several weeks of rising new daily cases, and the test positivity rate has increased steeply and is now 13%. The city is now seeing more than 1,600 new daily cases based on a 7-day rolling average, which is a higher rate than at any time during the pandemic.