If you're a resident of Maine, Vermont, or Hawaii, come on in! The rest of you people just keep on staying away.

That's the message that the City of Chicago is sending out across the fruited plain, and it goes into effect on Friday morning.

Chicago updated its Emergency Travel Order (ETO) last week to allow anyone arriving from a state which is reporting a COVID-19 case rate above its “high-risk” threshold of 15 cases per 100,000 residents but below the case rate in Chicago to avoid self-quarantining if they test negative for the disease before arriving.

There. Doesn't that make it crystal clear? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Okay, maybe using a color system will be a better way to explain.

Chicago's order now separates other states into three categories. You've got “Red,” which requires a 14-day self-quarantine after arrival, “Orange,” which allows the exception for a negative COVID-19 test to avoid quarantine and “Yellow” which does not require any measures be taken. But, regardless of your color match, Chicago city officials say they'd prefer that you just stay home, anyway.

You might be wondering what happens if you're from one of those nasty "Red" states and you show up in Chicago unannounced and proceed with going about your day. The answer is...well, nothing. There's no mechanism for enforcement of the ETO. Officials say that they're hoping people will do the right thing.

Here's the breakdown, effective Friday morning:

Red States:

  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Orange States:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington, DC
  • West Virginia

Yellow States:

  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Vermont

How lucky for our friends in Hawaii. I'm sure there's nothing a Hawaii resident wants to do more than visit Chicago in November.


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