Chicago adds Indiana to travel quarantine list; city health commissioner says neighbor ‘is a state that is wishing that COVID were over, and it’s not’

Chicago made it official Tuesday, adding neighboring Indiana to its emergency travel order that requires travelers returning to the city from there to stay inside for two weeks because of high COVID-19 case counts.



a person posing for the camera: In this file photo, Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady answers questions during a news conference at the Greater Western Community Development Project in Chicago, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.


© Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
In this file photo, Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady answers questions during a news conference at the Greater Western Community Development Project in Chicago, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.

The Hoosier state’s inclusion on Chicago’s self-quarantine list was expected.

The city last week “strongly advised” Chicago residents against traveling to Indiana, pointing to the fact the state had already passed the bench mark of more than 15 new daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period that warrants getting added.

“I am very concerned that Indiana is a state that is wishing that COVID were over, and it’s not,” city Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said then.

Starting Friday, people traveling into Chicago from Indiana will be expected to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Violators can face fine, though the city has taken few steps to enforce the rules.

Indiana joins Wisconsin, which was placed back on Chicago’s travel warning list three weeks ago amid skyrocketing coronavirus numbers there.

And like with Wisconsin, people who commute across the Indiana state line to or from Chicago to work or go to school will be exempt from the quarantine rule, a nod to the symbiotic relationship between the neighboring states. But workers in Chicago from Indiana will be expected to avoid restaurants, bars and other public spaces in the city.

In all, there are now 26 states on the quarantine list: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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The Current State Of The Hotel Industry Isn’t ‘Sustainable’ Without Government Funding, CEO Says

Topline

The American hotel industry could be on the brink of collapse with as much as two-thirds of the nation’s hotels set to shutter in six months without financial help from the government and millions of industry workers laid off, a situation CEO of Best Western Hotels David Kong told CNBC on Monday was “not sustainable.”

Key Facts

Hotels have been the victim of a devastating one-two punch from the coronavirus pandemic, with forced closures leading to massive layoffs, and a sharp decline in bookings with travelers afraid checking in might mean contracting the virus.

“It’s really hard to say when a recovery is going to be. This situation we are in now, it’s not sustainable. It’s really bad,” Kong, who recently spoke with both the White House and Congressional Democrats about stimulus funding, told CNBC.

Kong noted the severity of the industry’s cash flow problem, saying “you can only do so much with eliminating expenses and cutting people, you still need revenue,” which is difficult with less people willing or able to travel and hotels slashing prices in a bid to fill rooms.

Without government help, over 38,000 of the nation’s almost 58,000 hotels could be forced to shut down in six months, according to a recent report by the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

If Congress doesn’t extend PPP loans or expand Main street loans, the AHLA estimates over 3,700,000 jobs related to the hotel industry could be lost, according to the report.

Key Background

The battle on Capitol Hill and in the White House for a new coronavirus stimulus package has been long, complicated, and as the days and months grow longer since the CARES Act was passed, baffling. Republicans and Democrats can’t find common ground, and it seems almost daily President Donald Trump is alternately pulling the plug on stimulus talks or advocating for a bigger and bigger package. The airline industry cadged $32 billion in payroll support in the CARES Act and is pushing hard for a reup, but other parts of the travel industry like hotels haven’t been able to get support on Capitol Hill. House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said she won’t support a stimulus plan that’s less than $2.2 trillion, and Republicans hit a ceiling at around $1 trillion, though their latest plan included only $300 billion in new spending. Meanwhile, Trump, who blew up stimulus talks between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin shortly after being released from Walter Reed hospital, on Friday claimed to want a greater stimulus package than both Republicans and Democrats.

Big Number

33%. That’s how many Americans say they’ve traveled for pleasure since March, according to the AHLA, and only 38% say they may travel by the end of the year.

Key Quote

“It’s time for Congress to put politics aside and prioritize American workers in the hardest-hit industries. Hotels are cornerstones of the communities they serve, building strong local economies and supporting

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