Cheif Conrad provides a summary of the Governor's Proclamation

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City of Highland
Public Safety Department
Christopher J. Conrad, Public Safety Director

Below are the important changes to the current stay at home order from the Governor. (Click here to read the entire Order)

  • Businesses shall post the guidance from IDPH and the IL Attorney General on workplace safety during the COVID-19 emergency on employee billboards with other mandatory notifications. (Attached).
  • Businesses shall require employees who cannot maintain 6 feet of separation at all times to wear face coverings.
  • Citizens, when in public and cannot maintain 6 feet of separation are to wear face coverings.
  • Churches may conduct services as long as they abide by the CDC guideline of no more than 10 people and wear face coverings when 6 feet of separation cannot be maintained.
  • Under section 13 of the executive order, “non-essential” businesses can fulfill online and telephone orders that are made available through delivery or curbside pick-up as part of their “Minimum Basic Operations”.

We have received several questions about enforcement of the executive orders.

Bear in mind, response to a pandemic isn’t something that is typically taught in common police training. As a result we have been working through this COVID-19 response as everyone else has, in real time. We view our role as educators. We’ve responded to reports involving people or businesses not following the various orders, and, fortunately those have been few and far between. In each instance we have reached out to the individuals or businesses and explained the orders or referred them to the DCEO website for clarification. These interactions have been fantastic and everyone has accepted the requirements after we’ve explained the orders and why they are important.

Our first concern is for the safety of the individuals and those around them. When dealing with businesses, our concern is for their patrons, employees and the business itself. We must understand the liability to protect employees and their patrons falls on the business owners and that operating within the guidelines is the best way to protect those folks and protect our businesses from unnecessary liability claims. This pandemic is causing enough hurt to our businesses as it is, so if we can help protect them from potential liability by explaining the orders, we see that as a service to our community.

If a business has a risk management policy that requires you to wear a face covering to protect their employees and other patrons, they have every right to ask you to leave and can call the police if you refuse. “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service.” is likely going to be expanded to “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Mask, No Service”. That seems pretty simple since all these requirements are out of concern for public health.

It is important to remember that stay at home orders in various states do save lives, but they will not defeat the virus. They are intended to flatten the curve so we don’t overwhelm our limited hospital ICU bed resources.

There are only 31 ICU beds available of 95 total ICU beds in the Edwardsville Region. This serves Madison, Bond, Clinton, Washington, St. Clair, Monroe and Randolph Counties, a combined population of roughly 675,000. These 31 available ICU beds aren’t dedicated to just COVID-19 patients, these also serve heart and stroke patients, accident victims and others requiring acute care.

We are running a marathon, not a sprint. Coronavirus is now just another virus we have to contend with and we will need to take extra precautions until they develop a treatment or vaccine, just as our grandparents and great-grandparents did with Polio, 1918 Flu and various other communicable diseases that came before this one.

While researching the response to the 1918 pandemic I saw a picture of a St. Louis Cop wearing a surgical mask while riding a street car. We have done this before! We’re Americans! We adapt and overcome any obstacle that gets in our way and we emerge stronger and wiser on the other side.

While this virus will pass, many of our neighbors are suffering greatly, whether a family who is directly impacted by the virus, someone who has been laid off, or the business owner who is worried about staying open. Now is the time to show our can do attitude and our ability to adapt to find ways to protect one another and extend our hands to help. Reach out to these neighbors and friends who need our support now more than ever. Find out what they need and what you can do to help them through this crisis.

Nothing could be more American or more Highland!

Stay Safe and Stay Healthy Bulldog and Viking Nation!    

Centers for Disease Control:

State of Illinois Coronavirus response:

Illinois Department of Public Health:

City of Highland: