McDonough County Health Department Urges ‘Responsible Re-opening’

Macomb, Ill.- (McDonough County Health Department) As modifications to the executive Stay at Home order take effect May 1, the McDonough County Health Department (MCHD) encourages residents to continue to be safe by wearing cloth face covers and practicing physical distancing when in public. These practices not only protect you and your family, but the most vulnerable members of our community as well, and they must be maintained if we wish to minimize the transmission of illness in our county.

Spring is a time of renewal, when our environment springs back to life with plant growth and warmer weather, inviting us to enjoy the outdoors. Please enjoy the outdoors responsibly for the good of all. Plant a garden, go for a walk, barbeque with your immediate family, enjoy the parks that are open- as long as they do not become busy to the point where keeping 6 feet of physical distance from non-household members isn’t manageable.

When supporting our local businesses, please follow the guidelines and ensure you have a face covering with you in case others have the same idea as you and you find yourself in a crowded place. Face coverings are required in public indoor spaces such as stores for all individuals over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask. If these guidelines are not followed, it will likely result in a longer time before we get past the peak of COVID-19, or cause a second wave that may be much more devastating than the first. Please cooperate so that the entire community can enjoy our spring a little more without risking our health!

Essential businesses and manufacturers are now required to provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six-feet of social distancing. There will be occupancy limits for essential businesses and precautions such as staggering shifts and operating only essential lines for manufacturers. Please be patient and be prepared to wait to enter a store if going during a high-traffic time. Schools will be establishing procedures for retrieving student belongings in a safe manner as well. Surgi-centers and hospitals will start to resume certain elective surgeries for non-life-threatening conditions. These facilities will need to meet specific criteria, including proper PPE, ensuring enough overall space for COVID-19 patients remains available, and testing of elective surgery patients to ensure COVID-19 negative status.

Again, please be patient as we all navigate these changes, and remember: we are all in this together!

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