Evanston state of emergency extended to May 11

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Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

Mayor Steve Hagerty. Hagerty emphasized to Evanston residents that COVID-19 crisis efforts need to continue.

Julia Richardson, Reporter

Evanston City Council unanimously passed a resolution extending the city’s state of emergency to May 11 on Monday, via a Zoom meeting.

The state of emergency, originally established on March 15 by Mayor Steve Hagerty, had previously been extended to April 13.

“I don’t want to give anyone the false opinion that somehow we’ve defeated COVID-19,” Hagerty said. “There’s still a state of emergency. We still have a lot of work to do to flatten the curve.”

Hagerty emphasized the state of emergency extension gives the government flexibility, which he said was especially important while the data is being monitored and quickly changing.

Since the council meeting on March 23, COVID-19 cases in Evanston have risen from 55 to 175. However, Hagerty also reported the increase in confirmed cases is by 218 percent, far below the increase of 1000 percent recorded between March 17 and March 23. Evanston’s COVID-19 cases are also increasing at a slower rate than the national average of 10 days.

City Council members are not the only authorities expressing concern about the necessity of prolonged action around the COVID-19 situation. At a Monday press conference, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also predicted an extension of the state’s stay-at-home order, which is currently set to expire on April 30.

“I think that’s going to be difficult for us to say April 30 everything [opens] up…I don’t expect that to happen,” she said.

Lightfoot also expressed uncertainty about how exactly the orders would be lifted once officials deem it safe.

Ald. Thomas Suffredin (6th) inquired if Evanston is taking additional action beyond Pritzker’s guidelines, to which Hagerty explained the city has been adhering to the governor’s orders exactly. Hagerty acknowledged some residents have emailed with recommendations for further steps.

“The governor has an incredible amount of intelligence and information (from) his whole public health staff and all the experts that he’s consulting,” Hagerty said. “We think it’s a reliable source to continue to call on that.”

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Related Stories:
City Council votes to extend state of emergency until April 13
Gov. Pritzker issues “shelter-in-place” order, effective Saturday

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