A Message from Mayor Rotering
Mayor Rotering delivered these remarks at the April 27, 2020 City Council special meeting. Video of the meeting is available here .
This is an extraordinary time. Working together, we are saving lives. We have been challenged and we are rising to the occasion as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19, but our work is not done. Your efforts are making a difference. While the number of cases in Highland Park continue to rise, the rate of that rise is slowing down to about 5 new cases a day.
We are coordinating daily with Governor JB Pritzker’s Office, Lake County, and partner organizations as we work to attain diminished COVID case numbers via the State’s Stay at Home Order. Last week, based on data from scientists and health experts, the Governor extended the Stay-At-Home Order another month, through the end of May to continue along our parallel path of working to best meet the needs of Highland Park residents.
It has been 7 weeks since we first declared a state of emergency in Highland Park. Tonight, I asked the City Council to approve a motion extending our state of emergency to run in tandem with the Governor’s order. This ordinance pertains to emergency management and disaster authority in response to the COVID-19 situation and will enable the City to continue to immediately respond to the current emergency as allowed by Illinois law.
Last Monday, the City enacted a requirement that all residents and visitors wear face coverings when entering or working in an essential business, or when people are unable to maintain social distancing while out in public. This mandate was predicated on the CDC’s advice. On May 1, per the Governor’s order it will be a requirement statewide that anyone over 2 years old wear a mask or face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain a distance of six feet from others. In addition, under the Governor’s Order, greenhouses and garden centers will be allowed to reopen, dog groomers may reopen, and nonessential businesses will also be able to reopen to fulfill phone and online orders for curbside pick-up and delivery. We are working closely with our business community to assist with these changes and to help them find a successful path forward.
Now is not the time to get complacent. The hard work we have been doing is helping to reduce the load on our health care system and hopefully, slow the spread of infection. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Our community cares deeply about each other, and that care and concern need to continue so that we may be together again.
We continue to thank the health care workers, first responders, and other essential workers who are PUTTING THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE to help all of us. Thanks to my City Council colleagues, City Manager Ghida Neukirch and her team, and our community partners for your time, effort, and leadership as we work toward a common goal – protecting the public’s health and safety.
Thank you to our compassionate community for your patience and perseverance. We are strong. Together, we will get to the other side of this global challenge.