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COVID-19 UPDATES FROM THE MAYOR

LAST UPDATED MAY 4, 2021

REGISTER WITH THE WINNEBAGO COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT FOR THE COVID-19 VACCINE

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CONDUCTING CITY BUSINESS

City Hall is open for official City business. Visitors and staff have their temperature taken when entering the building, are required to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing. We encourage the public to continue to use contactless methods of conducting city business. Most services can be done online. Visit here for more information.
 

LIQUOR LICENSE FEE REBATE

We know that bars and restaurants are being greatly impacted by the current enhanced state-mandated mitigations. To help, we’ve passed a rebate of 50% of annual liquor license fees for bars and restaurants.  If an owners has already paid the annual fee in full, the City will rebate 50%. If the owner has only paid the first installment, they will not be required to pay a second installment when they file a renewal application. 

MITIGATIONS

On January 25, Region 1 entered Phase 4.

Phase 4 Mitigation Measures

FACE COVERING ENFORCEMENT

On July 23, Village Presidents and Mayors from our area announced they will increase enforcement of the face covering requirement.

News Release on Enforcement

OUTDOOR DINING

When we moved into Phase 3 on May 29, the City developed Outdoor Seating Guidelines and an Outdoor Sidewalk Cafe Application for restaurants. These resources still apply in Phase 4.

Outdoor Seating Guidelines

Outdoor Sidewalk Cafe Application

Sale of Mixed Drinks/Cocktails

Tent and Outdoor Cooking Requirements

Here are other ways we helped restaurants reopen for outdoor dining:

• Dedicating Public Works and Community and Economic Development Department staff to facilitate an expedite the approval process for all outdoor seating.
• Waiving permit fees associated with establishment of outdoor seating areas for restaurants on public and private property.
• Allowing temporary outdoor seating areas in private parking lots, sidewalks, public lots and alley’s (subject to safety standards).
• Suspending the liquor license approval process for existing restaurant license holders to expand or create outdoor seating areas.

If you have additional questions, please email [email protected]

ROCKFORD REGION REBOUNDING WORKGROUPS

In order for us to be ready to both create and navigate our new post-COVID reality, Mayor McNamara established Rockford Rebounding working groups. These groups are developing ideas and recommendations for our City team, City Council and the broader community to act upon and help build a stronger city than we were prior to COVID-19.

For a list of the workgroups, click here

CASES

On March 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), confirmed a case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Rockford region.

On March 31, the Winnebago County Health Department announced the first death related to COVID-19 in Winnebago County.

As of May 3, 2021, there have been 30,759 confirmed cases in Winnebago County.

BUSINESS RESOURCES

Need information on COVID-19 resources? Please e-mail [email protected].

SMALL BUSINESS LOANS

On March 25, Mayor McNamara, joined by members of the local banking industry, announced the creation of the COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Loan Fund. The loan fund, established by the Northern Illinois Community Development Corporation and managed by the Rockford Local Development Corporation, is funded by the City of Rockford, Winnebago County, Illinois Bank and Trust, Associated Bank, WinTrust, Midwest Community Bank, Blackhawk Bank, Northwest Bank, Stillman BancCorp and Sunil Puri. To date, $2 million has been raised with other financial institutions committing to support the fund. For more information, click here.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE AND HOTEL-MOTEL TAX 

In an effort to alleviate the impact the Stay at Home order has had on restaurants, bars and the hotel and tourism industry, the City deferred collection of our Food and Beverage Tax and our Hotel-Motel Tax.

For more information on recent liquor sale changes, click here.

CDC RECOMMENDATIONS

The CDC recommends some best practices and common-sense steps to prevent infection and avoid exposure:

  • Cover coughs or sneezes.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Disinfect frequently-touched objects, such as cellphones, laptops, and countertops.

The CDC also notes that patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • If you have symptoms, please call your health provider or physician’s office BEFORE visiting a clinic or Emergency Department.

BEST RESOURCES

QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS

If you have questions or concerns, call 815-319-6705 or email [email protected]