Logan County issues disaster proclamation, Illinois Governor issues “Stay at Home” order

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[March 21, 2020]  On Friday morning members of the Logan County Department of Public Health, Logan County Board, Logan County Sheriff and Emergency Management Agency, and Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital convened in the Logan County Courthouse to issue an official “Disaster Proclamation” for Logan County.

The official proclamation was read in part by State’s Attorney Brad Hauge. Don Cavi with the Health Department also spoke.

Cavi confirmed that to date there have been eight patients tested for potential coronavirus. Two tests have come back negative, the results on the other six is still pending.

To date there are NO cases of coronavirus in Logan County. Cavi repeated what he said in a Thursday press release, that the community must assume that coronavirus is active in Logan County because it is spreading rapidly throughout the state.

Cavi explained that the disaster proclamation would have little if any impact on the general public. What the proclamation does do is open the door for the county to receive additional resources to combat coronavirus. This would mean the availability of more equipment and supplies for emergency agencies, the hospital and Department of public health.

Those on hand for the press conference included Hauge and Cavi, plus Sheriff Mark Landers and Kendall Caruthers representing Logan EMA, Logan County Board Emily Davenport, LCDPH Director of Nursing Kara Davis, LCDPH Emergency Response Coordinator Salena Matson, Angela Stoltzenburg representing Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital and Resident Circuit Judge Jonathan Wright.

Cavi encouraged the public to observe social distancing (six feet of separation), to be diligent about hand washing and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that are touched. He supported the stay at home where possible and encouraged everyone to be careful and mindful of touching their faces with their hands.

Governor issues stay at home order

Later in the afternoon on Friday, Governor JB Pritzker issued a state-wide stay at home order. This order will have an impact on the public much more dramatically than the disaster order issued by the county.

With the stay at home order, all non-essential businesses are to shutter their doors effective Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 5 p.m. Non-essential businesses are to remain closed through April 7, 2020.

Pritzker said that this order would not impact food stores, drug stores or gas stations. Restaurants may still be open for carry out or delivery only, doctors, medical facilities and hospitals will remain open.

Food delivery service that is being provided through the education system to children who are not in class right now will continue.

First responders and emergency services will continue to serve their respective communities.

Transportation workers are to continue working.

News sources may also continue to work, bringing local news to their respective communities.

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Pritzker said that people are not necessarily confined to their homes. They may still go outside. They can go for walks, observing social distancing, they can walk their dog and other such activities.

One clarification the Governor made was that state park indoor facilities are closed but people can still go out and walk on trails and he encouraged that they do get out for fresh air and exercise.

Pritzker said he would like to say that this will all be over by April 7th, but there is no guarantee. Right now the stay at home is in effect only until the seventh, but the Governor could extend that date as needed.

On the county side. Logan County Chairman Emily Davenport said that the county will have to hold a special meeting within seven days from Friday in order to officially ratify the disaster declaration. Other than that the Logan Board will be working to conduct essential decision making votes using other alternatives.

In today’s edition there is also a complete press release issued by the Logan County governmental offices. Most all county government will be operating but with limited staff and under limited conditions. The only office listed that will be closed is the office of the Logan County Treasurer.

Be sure to read that complete list before visiting the courthouse or other governmental offices in the community.

On the city government side, there is no word yet as to how the city will respond to these new orders. It is understood that all first responders will continue to serve their communities.

The city hall building has been closed to walk-in business, but staffed during regular business hours for more than a week.

The Lincoln City Council postponed the March 24th Committee of the Whole meeting, resetting the date to March 31st. With this change, the city may re-evaluate their meeting schedule and seek other alternatives.

The Governor has issued a waiver of the Public Meetings Act that would allow all city boards or councils as well as the county board to meet via email, telephonic conferencing or video conferencing.

As has been stated many times by many people from our local health department to our city, county, and state leaders, all the way to the President of the United States, these are tough times right now. We all need to join together and support one another as best as we can…from a distance.

Call your neighbors, ask them if they are okay, see what they need. Check on family members and take advantage of your email and social media to make sure your loved ones are okay. And stay home, and stay safe.

In LDN right now, we have begun running our Easter Devotionals written by our local pastors. In today’s edition is a piece written by Pastor Greg Wooten of Hope Church in Lincoln. In one paragraph he makes a profound observation.

"But if you squint really hard, I think there is an even better point of similarity (when considering the Sesame Street game, 'one of these things is different') – they are all temporary. Some are merely bothersome, some are truly dangerous and devastating, but none of them will last forever. Someone once wisely said that the most precious words in the Bible are, “… and it came to pass.” It didn’t come to stay. It may seem like an eternity, but trust me, it’s not."

[Nila Smith]

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Logan County Disaster Proclamation - Pdf

Gov. Pritzker Announces Statewide Stay At Home Order to Maximize COVID-19 Containment, Ensure Health Care System Remains Fully Operational

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