Dear Darien Residents,
It’s been an unprecedented week as COVID-19 has become less of a statistic and more of a reality for communities across the United States. With this in mind, I think it’s important that I share with you the most current information about the virus, what Darien is doing to prevent its spread, and what you can do to stay safe and healthy in mind and body.
What is Going on?
The information I am sharing with you now, and will continue to share, comes directly from trusted, credible public health and government officials at the federal, state, regional and local levels.
As of Monday, we can report that there has been 1 confirmed case in DuPage County and nothing here in Darien.
Last week, President Trump declared a national emergency. This decision allows the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) to coordinate a disaster response to aid state and local governments. Additionally, Illinois and DuPage County, along with other counties, have issued disaster proclamations, which grants the state and local governments access to federal resources.
In an effort to minimize the spread of the virus through social distancing, the CDC has recommended that no gatherings with 50 people or more take place for the next eight weeks. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has banned all events of 1,000 people or greater across the state. Public and private schools are also closed through the end of the month. As of today, restaurants and bars are also closed to the public.
What is Darien Doing?
Every day I receive updates on the state of the virus and I’m regularly participating in conference calls with mayors across the region, including Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
In line with the governor’s recommendation, the City of Darien canceled the State of the City address planned for later this month in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce. We are considering giving an update at an upcoming City Council meeting which will be televised and live-streamed. We will provide more details when this is finalized.
What Can You Do?
We all play an important role in keeping each other and our community healthy and safe. We can slow this virus down if we practice healthy habits and remain calm and united in our efforts. To that end, I ask you take the following steps:
- First, focus on the individual actions you can control. These include:
- Practice good hygiene – especially washing your hands for 20 seconds
- Remain at home if you are sick at all
- Keep non-essential personal contact to a minimum – work from home if possible; do not gather in large groups
- Second, limit the news you read and watch. Much of the alarm we have seen in other communities comes from, in part, the overwhelming news coverage of the negative impacts of the virus.
- Third, while you limit what media you view, rely on trusted resources for information: specifically the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
In addition, please be mindful of your elderly neighbors, offering assistance with grocery shopping, running of errands, and/or any other needs they may have.
If you need help with things such as food, financial support or housing, visit DuPageCRIS.org or call 630-407-6500. This program is managed by DuPage County Community Services Intake and Referral and they will connect DuPage County residents with available programs and services.
Our mental health is vital to our physical health and taking these steps will help us have the right approach to keeping ourselves and others healthy. If you are experiencing mental or emotional distress, the DuPage County Health Department has a Crisis Hotline (630) 627-1700, which is available 24/7/365 for residents with an urgent mental health emergency requiring immediate help.
I want you to know that your welfare is our top priority, and I will update you with the most current information as soon as I receive it. Together, with each of us doing his or her part, we can reduce the spread of the virus. While we expect the cases to increase, we can do everything in our power to not be part of that statistic.
Beginning Tuesday, March 17th, City Hall will have modified hours for assisting residents. City Hall will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday. Our city facilities: our police, public works and city staff will continue in their efforts to serve and meet the needs of our Darien residents. As for myself, I invite any of you who have a concern that you need to share to feel free calling me at 1-630-353-8108 or email me at email@example.com.
Mayor Joe Marchese