Resurgence of COVID-19 necessitates action by Decatur City Council
Macon County has the lowest percentage of fully vaccinated residents of any central Illinois county with a mid-size city. The county’s fully vaccinated rate of 39% is lower than that of Champaign (49%), McLean (49%) and Sangamon (50%) counties (as of 7/28/21). At the height of the pandemic, Macon County had the highest per capita death rate and highest per capita number of cases from COVID-19 of any other county in central Illinois with a mid-sized city, and our death rate from COVID-19 in 2020 was 71% greater than the second highest county, Sangamon (as of 12/31/20).
THE DECATUR CITY COUNCIL MUST BE PROACTIVE IN PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that Macon County is at a “Substantial” level of community transmission (CDC COVID Data Tracker, as of 7/29/21), and this is before the Delta variant of COVID-19 has become as prevalent in Macon County as other areas of the country. Furthermore, according to Illinois Phase 5 guidelines for indoor businesses and venues, everyone that is not fully vaccinated should wear a face covering and maintain six feet social distancing. This is not occurring in Macon County.
With our county being at a substantial level of community transmission, it is time for the city council to act decisively to protect public health. This should include a review and revisions to local laws, and the enforcement of these laws, including revisiting requirements for face coverings indoors, instituting checks for businesses with permits and licenses, and providing assistance to those that need it in order to meet COVID-19 safety guidelines.
THE DECATUR CITY COUNCIL SHOULD INSTILL CONFIDENCE THAT OUR CITY IS AND WILL REMAIN SAFE
Protecting the health of our citizens and the city’s long-term economic recovery will require citizens having continued assurance that the entities they frequent are safe, and I am very thankful to the many individuals and entities that have been following safety guidelines. Given the city’s low vaccination rate and high risk of resurgence, it is time again for council action.
PLEASE EXPRESS YOUR VIEWS AT THE NEXT CITY COUNCIL MEETING
The next meeting of the Decatur City Council is on Monday, August 2 at 5:30 PM. Meetings take place at the Council Chambers located on the third floor of the Decatur Civic Center (1 Gary K. Anderson Place). Free parking is available in the lot immediately south of the entrance. Citizens are encouraged to attend meetings and express their views. Citizens are allotted 3 minutes per person near the beginning of each city council meeting. In addition, citizens can provide comments regarding one regular agenda item per meeting for up to three minutes provided they notify the city in advance (and prior to the start of the meeting). You can request to speak on a particular agenda item at a council meeting by filling out an on-line form at: https://www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/advance-request-to-speak-at-council-meeting/.
CITIZENS ARE ENCOURAGED TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK TO CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
If you would like to discuss city issues with a council member, phone numbers and email addresses for each council member can be found at the following link: https://www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council/.
AGENDAS FOR CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE
An agenda and information about each agenda item for each city council meeting can be found at: https://www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council-meetings/.