Message from Mayor Hayes Regarding COVID-19

Mayor's Message to Stay On Course in Fight Against COVID-19
Posted on 05/07/2020
Mayor Thomas Hayes

Dear Good Neighbors,
This is what is now my third video message to the good people of Arlington Heights in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you recall, my first message to the community was back in mid-March before the Governor issued his first Stay-at-Home Order. Although the finish line is not yet in sight, many weeks of heroic work by our health care providers, first responders, and other essential workers, as well voluntary compliance with the social distancing and other guidelines by our residents, has brought some light to the end of the tunnel. 

As a result, Governor Pritzker has now published RESTORE ILLINOIS – a five-phase, regional plan to safely reopen our state and our communities. There is no doubt that a number of our residents and businesses believe that the plan is not aggressive enough to address the adverse social and economic impacts resulting from the Stay-at-Home Orders. In fact, I have already heard from some that I, as Mayor, have the authority and should re-open businesses on my own or that I should just defy the Governor’s Orders.

In those regards, let me just say this – I don’t and I won’t. As a US Army veteran, I learned long ago that we must follow the lawful orders of those in the chain of command appointed over us. What we as a Village must do at this point is to STAY THE COURSE – continue to follow the guidelines of the medical and scientific experts as we work together to get us to the other side of the curve as soon as possible.   

As such, and until we move to the next phase of the Governor’s plan, I urge our residents to be a part of the solution by remaining committed to doing the following:

  • Washing your hands frequently;

  • Staying at home as much as possible; leaving only for essential purposes;

  • Not gathering with anyone outside of your household in a group of any size, unless it is for an approved essential purpose; 

  • Staying 6-feet away from others when you are shopping or engaging in another essential purpose outside of your home; and

  • Wearing face coverings inside public places or outside if social distancing cannot be maintained.

As I have said before, it is not our intention to be heavy-handed in our enforcement of these guidelines and mandates. With the warmer spring weather, however, our Police Department has been busy responding to reports about individuals not practicing proper social distancing and even some individuals going around barriers into parks that have been closed by the Arlington Heights Park District. Police Officers will continue to respond to these complaints and will take necessary action to ensure compliance so as long as the Governor’s Orders remain in effect.

I understand we are living in challenging times as we adjust to what will eventually become a “new normal” that no one ever envisioned. Whether it be social-isolation, the loss of a job, economic stress on a business, missing graduations and parties, being unable to see loved ones, or just worrying what the future holds, we are all anxious to get back to something as close to normal as soon as possible. I truly believe that the only way to get there is to be strong and stay the course for however many more weeks it takes. Although we are apart, we can get through this if we work together!

Remember that the Village is up and running and working hard to serve our residents and businesses at this critical time. In that regard, the Village has already taken numerous steps to help our businesses survive and is actively working with them on additional innovative plans in anticipation of the phased reopening of the economy. I would ask that all residents in the City of Good Neighbors assist in this effort by frequenting our restaurants and businesses whenever you can and by helping those who are unable to help themselves. Whether that means picking up and dropping off groceries, providing face coverings, or giving to the Village’s Emergency Assistance Fund through Arlington Cares, we appreciate and thank you for any contributions you can make.

I want to personally thank the countless individuals, families, organizations, and businesses that have placed positive messages around our community and performed wonderful acts of kindness that have lifted the spirits of others during this challenging time. The messages in windows or drawn with chalk in driveways that “thank our frontline workers”, or “tell us to smile it will be OK”, or to “stay strong” are inspiring us all to get through this together. If you have pictures of positive messages you made yourself or see in your neighborhood - please email them to info@vah.com. We have been posting these pictures on our social media platforms and they have generated an overwhelming, positive response.

In closing, and in light of the necessary cancellations of our Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony, Frontier Days, and our 4th of July parade, I want to take this opportunity to honor and remember the members of our Armed Forces who paid the ultimate price to give us the freedoms we enjoy, many of which we took for granted and now so dearly miss.

On behalf of the Village Board and staff, please keep our healthcare providers and first responders in your thoughts and prayers, stay well, stay the course, and may God continue to bless you and your families in the weeks ahead. 
 
Stay safe and be well.

Mayor Tom Hayes signature


Thomas W. Hayes, Mayor
May 8, 2020

 
May 8, 2020 Video Message...