ROCKFORD – Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara has released a statement about Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s statewide “stay-at-home” order that takes effect at 5 p.m., Saturday.
“This is a rapidly-evolving and unprecedented public health challenge and our City of Rockford staff has been fully engaged with the Winnebago County Health Department and other agencies working to address it,” McNamara said. “I fully support the Executive Order and all the measures being taken to limit public activity, movement and exposure. Staying at home should be interpreted just as simple as that phrase—limiting our travel as much as possible to slow the spread of the disease.”
McNamara reiterated that a long list of essential businesses such as supermarkets, pharmacies, banks gas stations and health-care facilities will remain open during the two-week order. The list also includes laundromats, day care centers for children of health-care workers and first responders, auto dealers and service centers, hotels and motels.
“We’ll be helping residents and business owners clarify the status of ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’ services in the coming hours and days, ” the mayor said. “Medical experts cautioned us several weeks ago that our way of life was going to be altered dramatically. We’ve been waiting for it, we’ve been preparing for it and now it’s upon us.”
The Rockford Police and Fire departments be maintaining services to residents during the shutdown, McNamara said, working in conjunction with the Public Works Department to operate the water utility and respond to infrastructure emergencies, including water main breaks. Other city departments are functioning with staff members who are working from home when possible.
“This is a historic and defining time for our great city,” McNamara said.” We have a solemn responsibility to protect our families, our friends and our neighbors and slow the spread of this virus. We must remain home unless it’s absolutely necessary to leave.
“Make no mistake: this is the right action to take against COVID-19 and slow the spread. We will make it through this and our community will be better because of our collective action. I appreciate your continued service and dedication to our community and your support of me and the City team. Please reach out to me directly if you need any assistance or additional information.”
The stay-at-home order will be in effect until April 7 with the possibility of extension. During that time, citizens are permitted to be outdoors as long as they practice social distancing and refrain from gathering in groups larger than 10 people. Travel for essential services is also allowed. All roads and highways will remain open.
More information is available on the City of Rockford website.