Due to COVID-19 surges, Chicago issues a travel alert for Missouri and Arkansas.

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On Tuesday, health officials in Chicago issued a travel warning for the states of Missouri and Arkansas due to an increase in COVID-19 infections.

Unvaccinated persons coming from Missouri or Arkansas should have a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before arriving in Chicago or face a 10-day quarantine, according to the city, because the two states have recorded more than 15 cases per day per 100,000 residents.

Tuesday is the first occasion since June 1 that a state has been placed under a travel alert.

“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.”

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.

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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.

The surge in instances coincides with the spread of the Delta variation across the country, accounting for 51.7 percent of new COVID-19 cases as of July 3.

President Joe Biden called for a shift in the nation’s vaccination efforts from mass vaccination sites to more targeted outreach to those who remain unvaccinated last week, citing concerns about variants and a failure to meet his goal of having 70 percent of all adults have at least one dose by Independence Day.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Tuesday, 67.7 percent of American adults had gotten at least one vaccination shot, and 159,675,163 individuals had been fully vaccinated.

 

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