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Posted on: March 17, 2020

Mayor Cunningham Addresses Current COVID-19 Pandemic

MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR

Dear Neighbors,

The health and safety of all Woodridge residents is the Village’s highest priority. On behalf of the Village Board andmayor cunningham Woodridge staff, we are all committed to providing essential services while also being mindful of the health concerns related to COVID-19. Effective Monday, March 16 at Noon, Village Hall and Public Works buildings will close to the public until further notice. The Police Department will remain open for walk-in services and Village offices can continue to be reached by phone and email.

The Village made this decision based upon guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in order to begin implementing appropriate ‘social distancing’ precautions into our Village operations so that we may protect the health, safety, and well-being of our employees and residents, while also continuing to maintain essential Village functions and emergency response services.  As a local government, it is our shared responsibility to try to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 by following the recommendations of federal and state public health officials.

I can assure you that Woodridge is planning and preparing for the local and regional challenges that will likely result from the spread of COVID-19. Our public safety departments are prepared to respond, and are in close coordination with their state and federal partners, as well as mutual-aid networks.  Woodridge is working closely with our sister agencies (e.g., fire district, park district, school districts, and library) to assist and support our intergovernmental operations as needed. Our first responders are prepared and ready for the task at hand, and their dedication to the community and expertise is reassuring as we combat the spread of COVID-19.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

This situation will challenge all of us, and it is rapidly evolving. A few short months ago, we celebrated Woodridge together with a wonderful community parade celebrating the 60th anniversary of Woodridge. Now, the CDC advises people to stay at least six feet apart for social distancing. But let’s be sure to remind ourselves that physical social distancing does not mean emotional separation.  Our Police Chief Brian Cunningham was on point when he remarked, “Social distancing and the stress of the unknown may cause many of us to seek isolation, but this is really the time to reach out to your neighbors-phone, text, food, TP, flowers – especially if they are elderly.”  As Mayor, I encourage you to reflect on what you can do to help your neighbor in the weeks and months ahead. 

Let’s all remember that during these stressful times, to be kind to each other and demonstrate empathy and compassion. Let’s help one another out as we adapt to this challenge.  As Mayor, I have the honor of contacting new Woodridge residents with a “Welcome to Woodridge, Neighbor” letter. My main message in that letter is that Woodridge is welcoming. A warm Woodridge Welcome, however, continues long after someone first joins our community. Please join me in having a welcoming spirit to check-in and help our neighbors.

We are all reacting to COVID-19 in different ways. While we cannot change the situation, we can choose how we respond to it. I encourage you to visit Giving DuPage to sign up for volunteering or to make a critical donation at https://givingdupage.org during this time of need.  Also, the West Suburban Community Pantry is experiencing higher demand and could use your support. Please visit their website at https://wscpantry.org/give-help/. Now is also the time where I call upon the younger people in our community – such as Millennials and Generation Z – to look after and to help our older adults.

How You Can Stay Connected

Woodridge is committed to effective communication throughout this new reality brought on by COVID-19. I urge you to check the Woodridge website and learn more information about the changes to Village operations. For example, the Village will be suspending water service disconnections for nonpayment through May 1. You may follow the Village of Woodridge on Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor, and WCTV Channel 6 for updates. You can also sign up for the Woodridge CodeRED emergency notification system by texting “WOODRIDGE” to 99411.

The Woodridge mission statement is “to achieve a high quality of life by providing superior services in a fiscally responsible manner,” and our goal is to achieve that mission while adapting safely to the circumstances. The Village will continue to evaluate and make decisions based on guidance from federal, state, and local public health officials. As we forge ahead, all of us will have to make varying sacrifices and understand that each of us has a role in in helping our neighbors and our community to unite and to persevere in the face of this challenge.

In closing, I kindly ask for your patience – Village operations, response times, and service for non-emergencies moving forward will require reassessment and adaptation. Generally, people will be able to access some Village services online and call or e-mail the Village with questions during regular business hours. As the COVID-19 crisis continues, let’s look out for each other, follow the recommendations of public health professionals, and appreciate the efforts of others – including grocery store employees, medical professionals, pharmacy staff, and first responders. We’re all in this together, and the strong Woodridge community spirit will help us to confront this challenge head on.

Thank you and Best Regards,

Mayor Gina Cunningham

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