Some City of Princeton workers will be back on the job soon, with restrictions. Speaking on Wake Up Princeton on WZOE 1490-AM, Mayor Joel Quiram said there are some necessary tasks that need to be done around the city. As a result, this Monday city employees will begin reporting to work. They’ll be able to get out and work while maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.
The mayor also said that although the number of Bureau County COVID-19 confirmed cases has reached 10, two more Princeton residents have recovered and gone home. He noted Governor Pritzker extending Illinois’ stay at home order through May while loosening some restrictions. He said going an extra month will be difficult for Princeton, calling what residents are going through “surreal”.
Quiram voiced concerns about Georgia reopening their state with restrictions, saying he believes it’s too soon. He said the CDC’s expansion of the COVID-19 symptoms list from three to nine will lead to more testing, which he called the key to fighting the virus.
The mayor said “probably 97 percent of all the positive cases in Illinois are north of Interstate 80” while Bureau County is one of the sparsest counties in the state in the number of confirmed cases. He noted a reporter asked Governor Pritzker why not just quarantine Chicago and allow the rest of the state to reopen. He said the governor replied with a condescending laugh.
Quiram said the 30-day lock down extension makes him very concerned for Princeton businesses up and down Main Street. He said he’s “at a quandary” for what to do, adding a couple of his letters have reached the governor’s office but he’s yet to get a reply.
The mayor discussed the new Downstate Small Business Stabilization Grant Program, saying it will run through Princeton.
The recent passing of Tony Kramer was mentioned. Mayor Quiram said the longtime Princeton firefighter and more recently EMT was “loved in the community” and “had a great personality and a smile to match”.