On Friday, March 20, 2020, Governor JB Pritzker issued COVID-19 Executive Order No. 8, which established a mandatory stay at home order beginning Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 5 p.m. and ends on Tuesday, April 7. The order calls for all residents of the State of Illinois and the City of DeKalb to remain in their place of residence during this period. It is important to know that this order is not a lockdown of the community. Many of our daily activities can continue, however, we will need to be vigilant and honor this order if we are to effectively deal with the COVID-19 virus. Persons may leave their homes for “essential activities, essential government functions, or to operate essential businesses and operations.” We encourage residents to review the executive order to determine what activities may continue.
We know there will be many questions related to this order. Know that the City remains committed to providing core public services. The Police and Fire departments remain fully staffed and continue to provide emergency services. Our Police Department will continue to patrol, monitor the streets, and respond to incidents as usual. The Fire Department will also continue to provide essential emergency services including fire suppression, emergency medical services, and rescue services. Call 911 for any situation requiring an emergency response. All first responders will be taking pro-active measures to limit the risk of exposure to the community and responders. These measures are temporary but will remain in place until further notice. First responders might be wearing additional protective equipment like a surgical mask, gloves, or glasses to shield themselves and others. Residents should not be alarmed at seeing such equipment, as it is only a precautionary measure.
Police Officers will be taking more “desk reports” via the telephone for crimes that are not in progress. The department values the face-to-face interactions with our community, however, at this time such activity has been deemed a risk to both members of the public and those who serve them. The Police Department’s lobby will be closed. The entrance vestibule will remain open where anyone can press the intercom button to request assistance from the dispatch center. The Police Department will temporarily suspend parking enforcement for non-safety related violations. Fire lane violations, handicap violations, and other elevated public safety violations are still subject to enforcement.
Fire stations are open for emergencies and Baby Safe Haven situations. Through April 7, the Fire Department administrative office will be staffed for phone inquiries Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Personal visits to the office will be by appointment only. Fire inspection services will be limited to fire and life safety circumstances.
There are several other important messages the City would like to pass along to our residents and business owners.
- Operation of City Offices: The City Hall lobby is now closed to the public and we will be operating under a modified staffing model in non-essential areas. First responders and other essential employees will continue to provide core public services. Some business activities are being conducted by appointment only. Otherwise, we encourage the public to continue using our online resources and the use of our drop box located in the parking lot of City Hall for the payment of fees.
- Public Meetings: The March 23 meeting of the City Council will continue as scheduled. Public meetings remain open to the public; however, the City strongly encourages community members to watch meetings on GATV Channel 14 or stream them live on the City’s website or YouTube. To encourage continued public participation, the City has created an Online Public Comment Submission Form.
- Suspension of Late Fees/Penalties: During this time of economic uncertainty, the City will suspend any late fees or interest on debts due to the City. This will include all late fees on utility bills and parking fines and interest and penalties on local tax receipts (Restaurant, Bar & Package Liquor; Hotel/Motel; and Local Motor Fuel). This will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. As noted earlier, water service will not be terminated for non-payment.
- Public Transit: The public transit system will operate on a modified schedule and will continue to offer free rides through April 7 for passengers on all fixed-route (Huskie Line) and paratransit (TransVac) services. For more information, please contact TransVAC at 815-758-3932 or Huskie Line at 815-758-6900.
If you have additional questions, please call one of our departments listed below for assistance.
City Manager’s Office: 815-748-2090
Community Development Department: 815-748-2070
Finance Department: 815-748-2000
Fire Department (Non-Emergency): 815-748-8460
Police Department (Non-Emergency): 815-748-8400
Public Works Department: 815-748-2040
Please follow the City on social media or visit the cityofdekalb.com/covid19 for the most up to date information.