Chicago Travel Order, What Community Associations Need to Know

July 29, 2020

The City of Chicago’s emergency travel order (available here) took effect on July 6 and requires that anyone entering the City of Chicago from “High Incident States” (i.e., states “with a COVID-19 new case rate greater than 15 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 resident population per day, over a 7 day rolling average”) self-quarantine for the lesser of (i) 14 days, or (ii) the duration of their stay in Chicago. FAQs from the Commissioner of Health regarding the Order are available here.  

Below is a summary of what community associations in Chicago need to know about the Order:


What Are the Current “High Incident States”?   As of July 29, 2020, the High Incident States are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.  An up-to-date list of High Incident States is available here


Are There Any Exemptions to the Order?  Yes. The Order does not apply to (i) “any individual passing through designated states for less than 24 hours in the course of travel” and (ii) essential workers traveling to and from Chicago for the “primary purpose of carrying out primary work” and “who needs to be physically present . . . in order to carry out that primary work, with identification issued by their employer.”  Exempted essential workers nonetheless are directed to avoid non-essential interactions and take additional precautions for the duration of the quarantine period (though they are not required to quarantine). 


What is “Quarantining”? Quarantining means “staying at a single designated home or dwelling for 14 days before doing any activities outside of the home or dwelling” and remaining at the premises “unless seeking medical care for COVID-19” in which case “a face covering must be worn”. 


What Are the Consequences for Violating the Order?  In addition to increased risk of transmitting COVID-19, those who violate the Order risk fines of $100 - $500 per day, up to $7,000.


How Can Community Associations Help Ensure the Order Is Followed?  We recommend that Chicago community associations disseminate a copy of the Order to all owners and remind them that they are responsible for ensuring compliance with the Order.  In the event of a confirmed violation of the Order, we recommend against self-help/directly confronting the offending owner to avoid unnecessary escalation and/or potential COVID-19 exposure.  Instead, the association’s legal counsel should be contacted to determine appropriate next steps and available remedies for violations.    

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