Joint Press Release
Offices of the Mayors of the Cities of La Salle, Peru, Utica, Oglesby and Spring Valley
Sunday, March 14, 2020
For Immediate Release
Amid intensifying nationwide concern of the spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as Coronavirus, the aforementioned mayors will each be holding special city council meetings this week. The purpose of such meetings is to consider passing ordinances allowing each city the right to declare a state of emergency and ensure that emergency protocols are in place, should the need arise. Such ordinances would give each city the authority to take necessary steps to protect the residents of the Illinois Valley area.
While there have been no documented cases of COVID-19 in the tri-county area of La Salle, Putnam and Bureau counties, the municipalities believe that preventive action should be taken so that emergency services, personnel, and municipal operations can react swiftly and effectively to address this quickly spreading pandemic.
City department heads have been instructed to create a response plan and dedicated emergency response teams would be formed in each municipality. A coordinated response effort has been discussed amongst the mayors, police and fire chiefs, and communication with the local hospitals and health departments will continue to be of utmost importance.
A declaration of emergency is a legal document that allows for the mobilization of city resources, activates each city's emergency action plan, streamlines staffing, and allows for future reimbursement from the state and federal governments.
All Special Meetings will be held at 6:30pm on Tuesday 03/17/2020.
We understand the information unfolding regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) may be creating concern and worry for many people. Though there are currently no confirmed cases in Peru or LaSalle County, we realize this could change in time. The City of Peru will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation and share vital information and updates from the local, state and federal levels. Our emergency management policies and processes are in place to preserve our fundamental utility and emergency services.
“The health and safety of our citizens, employees and our community are our main focus,” said City of Peru Mayor Scott Harl. “Although there have not been identified cases of the coronavirus in our immediate area, perhaps the most effective thing we can do now is to stay informed and follow the everyday wellness steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other health agencies.”
The following are easy, but important steps that residents can take every day to protect themselves from infection and/or spreading the virus:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
We encourage everyone to practice these good health habits every day.
“Please be assured the city’s leadership will continue to work with our local authorities and take appropriate actions to keep our citizens updated with the latest direction and steps you can take to support your health and the health of our community,” said Mayor Scott Harl. “Thank you for taking the time to read this information and I wish everyone good health in the days ahead.”
More information on COVID-19 can be found on the following websites: