coronavirus illinois

Outlying Counties Have Few Cases of Coronavirus, but Understand Importance of Patience

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Closed stores and carry-out only signs line the streets of many Illinois towns and cities.  In Ottawa, the state's stay-at-home order has business down.  But there is hope.

Mayor Dan Aussem said people in the community are frustrated with staying at home, but they understand why it is important to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"Our community's always been good about helping each other out and I think when this is over we'll bounce back," Aussem said.

Compared to counties closer to Chicago, several outlying counties have relatively few cases of coronavirus.  NBC 5 Investigates found LaSalle County, where Ottawa is located, reported 49 cases and 1 death as of Tuesday.  In nearby Grundy County, there are 30 reported coronavirus cases and no deaths.

"Just because you don't see a lot of cases, that's one sign that the stay at home order has really worked very well," said Jeff Hettrick, executive director of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce.

At least one Ottawa restaurant getting by with takeout and delivery orders is eager to reopen with social distancing in mind.

"Whatever guidance we get from the leadership here in the state or in the community, we are very well positioned to execute that very quickly," said Dennis Bresingham, general manager of The Lone Buffalo.

Hettrick said the Chamber of Commerce is helping local businesses with grants and loan applications.

Contact Us