July 17, 2020 – Oak Park Public Health Director Mike Charley today issued emergency guidance directing travelers entering or returning to Oak Park from states with high COVID-19 rates to quarantine for 14 days since their last contact with specifically identified high-risk states.
The guidance was issued in tandem with Cook County Health Department guidance issued today and is consistent with Chicago’s July 2 order. The local guideline applies to states that have greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents per day, over a 7-day rolling average.
Exceptions are in place for essential workers traveling for work purposes and other specific circumstances.
While Oak Park and surrounding communities in Cook County and throughout the state have seen steep declines in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths in recent months, other parts of the country are seeing an increase in new cases, and the country overall is setting new highs for daily COVID-19 cases.
“We have come a long way in Oak Park, and the same can be said of other communities in Cook County,” Health Director Charley said. “We understand people may want to travel this summer, but we are asking residents to remain vigilant so we can avoid having to close places in our community that only recently reopened.”
While public health guidelines are recommendations not enforced by legal action, they are strongly encouraged by officials working to stem the current increase in COVID-19 cases.
Travelers from the following states, including Oak Park residents returning from these states, will be directed to quarantine upon arrival:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Oak Park’s Department of Public Health is following the lead of the Cook County Department of Health regarding any updates to the list of included states.
An updated list will be posted here on the CCDPH wwebsite every Tuesday afternoon. The page also includes links answers to frequently asked questions, all of which also apply to Oak Park's guidance.
As of July 17, there were 384 confirmed cases among Oak Park residents since March 18. The 14-day rolling average for new cases in Oak Park is at approximately two cases per day, which is down from a high of more than five cases per day in mid-April.
“The overall decline in our 14-day rolling average has been an encouraging sign, but that can change, as we have seen in neighboring states,” Charley said. “Prevention is the best medicine. We ask everyone to avoid travel to the most affected areas. If you must travel, quarantine for 14 days to protect others and help us stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Oak Park is one of four communities in suburban Cook County that has its own state-certified public health department. Therefore emergency guidance like the travel guidance issued today by the Cook County Department of Public Health doesn’t automatically apply in Oak Park, but in this case Village officials chose to join the county in issuing the travel guidance.
Click here to here to read the Village’s emergency travel guidance.
For more information related to Oak Park’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.oak-park.us/covid19.
For more information about Oak Park’s Department of Public Health, visit www.oak-park.us/health, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 708.358.5480.