As we complete our first week of steps to control the spread of COVID-19, I wanted to provide another update. While these are unprecedented times for our state and nation, communities are coming together and we are seeing the very best of humanity. People are looking out for one another and actively practicing social distancing. If we all continue to work together, we can significantly control the impact COVID-19 will have on Illinois.
I have updated my web site to include two COVID-19 information pages- one with general information and another with more localized information and resources. Both should be helpful as we navigate this health crisis. The general COVID-19 information and resource page can be accessed at https://ilcovid19info.com/, and the more localized information and resource page can be accessed at https://repwehrli.com/covid-19/. These two pages are also accessible through the home page of my web site at repwehrli.com by scrolling down to the quicklinks section.
There are many ways you can help lessen the strain this virus is having on the delivery of goods and services in this region. Please consider the following options:
Support Local Restaurants during the Mandatory Shut-Down
The temporary halt of on-site dining is hitting local small businesses hard. I would encourage you to patronize local restaurants that offer carry-out, curb-side and delivery options. You can use this link from Dine Naperville to learn about local eateries that are offering take-out opportunities. By adjusting our habits just slightly, we can help restaurants (and their employees) stay afloat during this difficult time.
If You’re Healthy, Consider Donating Blood
With the cancelation of organized events, including large blood drives, the Red Cross and local blood banks are facing a severe blood shortage. Versity Blood Center of Illinois is hosting controlled mobile blood drives. A blood drive scheduled for tomorrow, March 21 in the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center at 305 W. Jackson Avenue in Naperville is filled for the day for normal blood donations, but as of this posting they still have one spot available for “double red” donations.
A second controlled community blood drive has been scheduled next week on Thursday, March 26 from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the same location. Use this link to sign up to make a traditional donation or a “double red” donation.
Practice Normal Grocery Shopping Habits
The Governor has assured that grocery stores will remain open, so there is no need to hoard food or home supplies. The empty shelves at grocery stores is not due to a disruption in the supply chain. To the contrary, the supply chain remains robust and strong. People should stick to their normal shopping patterns and not overbuy.
Many stores are holding special shopping hours for senior citizens and other populations vulnerable to the coronavirus. The Illinois Retail Manufacturing Association has compiled a list, which will be updated frequently, to help you navigate options. Click here to view that list.
Again, if we all rely on common sense and kindness, we will emerge on the other end of the pandemic sooner, and with fewer illnesses diagnosed in our region.
U.S. SBA Approves Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses
The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved Illinois’ eligibility for disaster assistance loans for small businesses facing financial hardship in all 102 counties due to COVID-19. Eligible businesses can apply for up to $2 million in low-interest loans. Use this link to learn more and apply for assistance.
Metra to Move to Abbreviated Train Schedule
If you are still using Metra to travel to work, please be aware that on Monday, March 23, train schedules will change to accommodate a decrease in riders. You can use this link to check your train line for the new schedule.
ICC Halts Utility Disconnections and Late Payment Fees
This week the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) formalized an order to stop utility disconnections and to suspend late payment fees during the COVID-19 public health emergency. This emergency order ensures that no one loses power, natural gas or running water because they can’t afford to pay their bills during these hard times.