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Chicago issues travel advisory for Missouri, Arkansas amid COVID-19 surges

Officials in Chicago issued a travel advisory for Missouri and Arkansas recommending a negative COVID-19 72 hours before travel from the states or a 10-day quarantine upon arriving in the city. File Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI
Officials in Chicago issued a travel advisory for Missouri and Arkansas recommending a negative COVID-19 72 hours before travel from the states or a 10-day quarantine upon arriving in the city. File Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo

July 13 (UPI) -- Health officials in Chicago issued a travel warning for the states of Missouri and Arkansas on Tuesday amid rising COVID-19 cases.

The city said that unvaccinated people traveling from Missouri or Arkansas are advised to obtain a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before arriving in Chicago or quarantine for a 10-day period upon arrival as the two states have reported more than 15 cases per day, per 100,000 residents.

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Tuesday marks the first time a state has been placed under a travel advisory since June 1.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and this only goes to show that the virus is still very much a threat that we must all remain vigilant against it," Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said, according to NBC News. "That means getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public settings if you are not fully vaccinated."

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Missouri has reported 2,690 new cases and 10 new deaths in the past seven days, while Arkansas added 1,476 new cases and 15 deaths since Monday.

Overall rates of new increases have increased by 10% from last week in 45 states, with 34 states showing increases of 50% over the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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The increase in cases comes as the Delta variant has spread throughout the nation, accounting for 51.7% of new COVID-19 cases as of July 3.

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Last week, President Joe Biden called for a shift in the nation's vaccination efforts from mass vaccination sites to more targeted outreach of those who remain unvaccinated amid concerns over variants and a failure to reach his goal of 70% of all adults to have at least one dose by Independence Day.

As of Tuesday, 67.7% of American adults had received at least one vaccine dose and 159,675,163 people have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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