Mayor Bob O’Dekirk declared a local state of emergency for the city of Joliet on Monday afternoon in response to the Coronavirus. The city is taking the following steps moving forward.
State of Emergency.
Due to the uncertain community effects and unknown duration of the COVID–19 threat, the Mayor‘s Office is declaring a Local State of Emergency in accordance with City Codes. The declaration will allow flexibility in rule making and financial expenditures that may become necessary.
Staff will continue to deliver the community the current high level of service expected. Precautions are being taken to identify staff members who may be placed upon split shifts or work remotely in order to minimize public service risk should the COVID–19 virus infect staff members.
Senior Resources Assistance to Quarantined Individuals.
The City is examining what resources may be tapped to aid with senior citizens, or individuals who may become quarantined. Communications on resources will be provided once further information is available. Utility Billing/Fines. To encourage on-line payment of City billing or fines during the duration of the State of Emergency, the City will provide a credit (effective March 16, 2020) for credit card service charges incurred in paying a bill. Late fees will be waived during the period of the State of Emergency.
To maintain health and sanitation during the State of Emergency, all water shut offs will be suspended.
City Facilities & Operation.
At the present time, the City intends to continue operations at all City Facilities. Extraordinary cleaning of public areas is presently being conducted and social distancing will be implemented for those visiting the facilities.
Restaurants & Bars.
The Governor has mandated that restaurants and bars across the State are to be closed from Monday evening (March 16) until March 30. The City will be working to ensure this mandatory closure is followed. The ban does not apply to delivery of food, or drive–up/drive-through orders.
COVID- 19 Communications.
A Bilingual resource page is on the City website at www.joliet.gov pertaining to the virus. This page will be used for community updates and information pertaining to the pandemic. It is likely the City will continue to arrange for press conferences