Officials in Naperville are engaged in a debate over what to do to slow the spread of coronavirus as the world waits for an effective vaccine to be distributed, and a local ordinance on the matter is generating plenty of comments and controversy.
The Naperville City Council is evaluating its options amid a surge in coronavirus cases and deaths in the state of Illinois.
“We are a critical time in this crisis,” city official Linda LaCroche said. “We need people to follow the three W’s to bend the curve again: watch your distance, wash your hands and wear masks to save lives and livelihoods.”
One way that officials have discussed potentially addressing the surge in cases is to issue a mask mandate at the local level in Naperville.
City officials are currently working to devise an ordinance for the council to vote on early next month. Details of the plan, including enforcement options and other ways to differentiate the mandate from a statewide mask mandate that has been in effect since May, will also be discussed in drafting the law.
Naperville officials have also opted to close city buildings to the public through the end of December, but say that city business will continue.
“We have a responsibility as first responders to make sure that our community is safe and that our employee base is safe as well,” LaCroche said. “So we thought that was an appropriate step given the increase in cases.”
Water, utility and city board services bills can be taken care of virtually while city buildings are closed, according to the city, and residents can also call or email officials for more information.