PLEASE SHARE: As Mayor of the City, I have been in consultation with state officials and the City's legal team.


March 15, 2020

PLEASE SHARE: As Mayor of the City, I have been in consultation with state officials and the City's legal team. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am taking the following actions:

1. Governor Pritzker has announced drastic measures to ensure public safety by ordering CLOSURE of ALL BARS and dine-in restaurants throughout the state of Illinois. ALL restaurants, fast food establishments, liquor establishments, bars, taverns and video gaming cafes MUST adhere to the mandate.

NOTE: With the assistance of our first responders, I will be monitoring events and establishments to ensure compliance.

NOTE: Restaurants and fast food establishments MAY have outside/curbside carryout OR drive-thru ONLY. Social distancing is a way in which we all can contain the virus. I ask for your cooperation as we work together to keep everyone safe.

2. In regard to the city council meeting scheduled for Monday, March 16, 2020 @ 7pm, I am asking that all presentations be postponed until a later date. This will help us avoid the crowds that come when we promote our first responders and recognize our youth for their accomplishments. I will gladly resume those presentations when it is a safer time to do so. NOTE: You can view the city council meeting on Channel 4 if you have Comcast Cable or go to the City of Kankakee website link at:

3. Under my executive authority, I am granting Fortitude Community Outreach Shelter to set up a trailer in the Depot area downtown so they can provide meals to our homeless population. The shelter will be closing this week until further notice to protect the guests and many of the volunteers who happen to among our senior population. Fortitude will be providing sleeping bags and blankets.

4. Please check the websites of your utility companies as ComEd ( and Comcast ( have advised there will be no disconnections within the next 30 days. The companies can provide direct information regarding their plans of action. AQUA Illinois's handles sewer/trash and water billing for City of Kankakee residents. AQUA Illinois's website is:

5. I am asking landlords to be compassionate of our residents who are impacted by this pandemic. Many workers who are being impacted are low to moderate income and work in the service industries: hospitality, bars, restaurants and so on.

6. I will be working with City's legal team to address any code and building inspections, as well as, adjudication court.

7. Impacted employees can file for unemployment compensation through the Illinois Department of Employment Security at: if they have been laid off work due to no fault of their own (pandemic). NOTE: Unemployment claims can be filed online. The Governor is seeking a waiver for employees and I will inquire about the mandatory wait week that is tied to filing the initial unemployment claim.

8. I will seek more information to share in regard to the small business owners and resources as there is discussion for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide resources for business owners.

9. HYGIENE - PLEASE wash your hands a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and warm water several times per day. PLEASE avoid crowds. PLEASE cover your coughs and sneezes with a TISSUE (not your hand). Or cough/sneeze into your shoulder/armpit, or use an item of clothing such as a scarf to shield your cough/sneeze. Finally if you are ill, stay home.

10. We do not want to overwhelm our hospitals and medical professionals. ONLY people with symptoms including: fever, cough, shortness of breath and high risk exposure persons will be tested at the discretion of a doctor. Both hospitals in Kankakee can test but the testing centers in the state of Illinois to confirm cases are located in Springfield, Chicago and Carbondale.

NOTE: Please follow the City of Kankakee social media sites for updates. This pandemic is EVOLVING hourly across the world. While I do not want to promote fear, I want us to do OUR part to promote health and safety. THANK YOU to our medical professionals and first responders who cannot limit social distance at this time because you are taking care of all of us.

Updates on COVID-19 can be found at:
Kankakee County COVID-19 Hotline 815-802-9311

Let's focus on what matters most right now: PEOPLE, public health and public safety.

Chasity Wells-Armstrong