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West Cook News

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Oak Park residents ordered to shelter in place until April 3


By April Bamburg | Mar 25, 2020

Coronavirus Sign | Jones Day

Oak Park residents are being told to shelter in place as of March 18.

Oak Park Public Health Director Mike Charley issued a public order requiring residents to shelter in place from March 20 to April 3. Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb has declared a local state of emergency in conjunction with the order.

The state of emergency declaration allows Charley to “make reasonable rules, regulations and orders…as may from time to time be deemed necessary for the preservation and improvement of the public health and for the suppression of disease.”

The order is intended to ensure that community members self-isolate in their homes to slow the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible.

Residents of The Village of Oak Park are ordered to shelter at their place of residence and, if using shared or outdoor spaces, maintain a social distancing of at least six feet from any other person.

Individuals may leave their homes for essential activities, essential government functions, or to operate essential businesses. Homeless individuals are exempted from the shelter-in-place order, but are urged to find shelter. Government and other entities are urged to make shelter available to the homeless as quickly as possible.

Public and private gatherings are prohibited, unless members of a household or living unit are gathering together. Village block parties and special events have been suspended for the duration of the shelter-in-place order.

Unless individuals are traveling to or from work, or performing essential activities, travel is prohibited on foot, by automobile, public transit, or another method of travel.

The order states:

“When people need to leave their places of residence, whether to obtain or perform vital services, or to otherwise facilitate authorized activities necessary for continuity of social and commercial life, they should at all times reasonably possible comply with Social Distancing Requirements. All provisions of this Order should be interpreted to effectuate this intent. Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this Order shall be a violation of the Illinois Public Health Act, 220 ILCS 2305/2(k), which provides as follows:

Any person who knowingly or maliciously disseminates any false information or report concerning the existence of any dangerously contagious or infectious disease in connection with the Department's power of quarantine, isolation and closure or refuses to comply with a quarantine, isolation or closure order is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.”

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