Hamilton County currently has NO known cases of COVID-19. Residents are urged to not let this be a false sense of security. It is expected to be spreading through communities undetected. Hamilton County partners continue to meet daily to plan and prepare for response to cases.
City and County Officials would like to remind residents and local businesses of the Governor’s Stay at Home Order which is in effect through April 30th. The order is mandatory and has been put in place to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in Illinois and protect our friends, neighbors, and vulnerable populations. This is especially important now that neighboring counties have confirmed cases of COVID-19. Unless you work for an essential business or are doing an essential activity, you should stay home. The term “stay at home” means you must stay home, leaving only for essential reasons such as to get groceries or medicine, to get medical care, to get exercise, to take care of others, and for certain types of work. You may visit family members or friends who need medical or other essential assistance, such as ensuring an adequate supply of food or medicine. Everyone should significantly restrict outside movement to only those that are ess ential to help stop the spread of the virus.
The Governor’s Stay at Home Order provides that individuals may leave their homes to engage in outdoor activity, while maintaining social distancing, which includes going to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas. However, the Stay at Home Order provides that playgrounds are considered closed as they may increase the spread of the virus. Park facilities (i.e. restrooms, clubhouses and other buildings) may be deemed non-essential and are therefore closed to the public. Essential businesses will remain open during the Stay at Home order to provide services that are vital to the lives of Illinoisans. Those businesses include, but are not limited to, pharmacies, certain government offices, day care centers that provide care for the children of essential employees, and restaurants providing take-out meals.
If you work for an essential business, you should continue to practice social distancing and should stay at home outside of work hours. If you believe your business is nonessential, but are still being asked to show up to work, you may discuss with your employer. Businesses and employees with questions can call the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-252-2923 or email [email protected] Officials are encouraging local businesses who have been determined non-essential to follow the Stay at Home order. Local businesses who may be impacted by the temporary closures are encouraged to visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website (illinois.gov/dceo) for emergency small business grants and loan assistance or the U.S. Small Business Administration website (sba.gov) for disaster loan assistance.