Chairman Franks Encourages Continued COVID-19 Vigilance with Start of Phase 4
WOODSTOCK, Ill. – McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks is asking residents and business owners to keep up the good work in containing the spread of COVID-19 as we advance to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.
Phase 4 allows for the further reopening of businesses, retail and recreation, such as indoor dining, health and fitness clubs, movie theaters, and museums and zoos. All four of the state’s health regions hit the benchmarks set in place to advance, effective today.
“McHenry County, and the rest of Illinois, have taken a big step today toward a return to normalcy with the loosening of restrictions that were put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. We went to Phase 4, on schedule, because the people of McHenry County took this pandemic seriously from the start – they wore masks, physically distanced, and followed other state and federal health and safety guidelines,” Franks, D-Marengo, said. “To keep on this track, it’s important that we stay vigilant and not get lax now that more businesses and leisure activities have reopened.”
Franks urges residents to continue to wear masks in places, such as stores and mass gatherings, where maintaining a six-foot distance isn’t possible or practical, and to frequently wash their hands.
“Coronavirus cases are surging in other states where restrictions were lifted too early or were not enforced. Illinois has avoided that fate. However, COVID-19 has inflicted great economic harm on our residents and our businesses. It is vital that we continue to follow CDC guidelines to prevent a second wave here and cause them further harm,” Franks said.
Franks also urges people to not only support local businesses, but also, if they are able, to donate to local food pantries and charities that are experiencing an unprecedented surge in requests for assistance.
Help is out there if you and your family are struggling because of COVID-19. Please visit the county's coronavirus resource page at www.mchenrycountyil.gov/covid19resources if you need help with food, utilities, rent, unemployment, mental health, business assistance, and other vital needs. McHenry County residents also can call 211 to talk with an agent who can refer you to the services you need.
Businesses and employees needing resources can find assistance by visiting the website of Resume McHenry County, a task force created during the lockdown by Franks to determine the best path toward reopening as swiftly and as safely as possible. You can find the website at www.resumemchenrycounty.org.
In response to the hardships caused as a result of the pandemic, the County Board approved a three-month grace period to pay the first installment of property taxes and has loosened regulations and restrictions on local businesses to expedite their financial recovery. Also, homeowners who presently receive the senior property tax freeze, or the disabled persons or disabled veterans exemptions, will not have to renew them for this year.