COVID-19: Local leaders remind citizens to wear masks
ROCKFORD – Knowing COVID-19 spreads mainly through person-to-person contact in crowds, area leaders are urging citizens to wear masks in public.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive order declares that individuals must wear a face covering in public places, including indoor spaces, outdoor spaces when maintaining six feet of social distancing is not possible.
It also requires that businesses require all employees to wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible and communicate with customers about social distancing and face covering requirements.
At the request of and with support from the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, the Rockford Area Hospitality Member Association, and the Hospitality/Tourism Section of the Rockford Rebounding Working Group, local mayors and village presidents will increase enforcement of the face covering requirement.
“Businesses are telling us that they need us to take a stronger stand to get compliance from their customers,” Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said. “The last thing we want is to experience a spike in cases locally and have to close businesses again, like many states in the country, and even Chicago, are currently experiencing. Wearing face coverings is our best tactic to keep reopening our economy.”
In response, staff from Cherry Valley, Loves Park, Machesney Park, Rockford, Rockton, Roscoe, South Beloit and Winnebago will enhance education and awareness for businesses and individuals that do not comply with the executive order. Issuing fines, while an option, will be a last resort.
While it is not known if asymptomatic people are spreading COVID-19 in large numbers, experts know the virus spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice.