By Chris Johnson

On March 18, 2020, public access to the physical structure at Winnebago Village Hall was eliminated as fears of the spread of COVID-19 led to a statewide shutdown.

That meant business as usual for Winnebago residents was halted. It was a period of weeks before citizens had the full understanding of why the close down was enacted and now that period has come and gone.

Right now, things are attempting to return to normal in Winnebago. Businesses that remained open during the crisis now have a much more steady flow of foot traffic.

Restaurants, bars and public meeting facilities were closed down quickly. Those were the areas Gov. JB Pritzker said he and his administration saw the biggest risk.

There was still some carry-out business allowed during the crisis, even though some residents chose to not take advantage of that initially.

As March came to an end the word from Springfield was that there would still be restrictions in place.

The Governor explained that he was working on a phased opening plan that would hopefully get the economy healthy and back online. It seems to be working.

Now that things have officially been reopened in the State, some fears are still arising regarding whether or not the opening plan was effectively sought through.

States such as California, Texas and Florida, which opened at a much quicker pace are now seeing new spikes in reports of viral infections.

The State of Illinois has no intention, at this point, of re-closing things down. That has been emphasized by the Governor’s office.

However, certain guidelines are being offered to assure the steps being taken are still safe.

The issue of whether or not masks should still be worn in public is also receiving much scrutiny.

It has been advised that residents of Winnebago and the many other neighboring communities should wear masks still, not to avoid catching the disease, but to potentially protect others from the affliction.

Shoppers who currently visit many businesses in the area are still being asked to wear masks. Most employees and business owners have stated a preference of prevention, if possible and have asked their employees to follow suit.

The Winnebago Village Board is closing in on resuming normal operating practices. With a meeting schedule still set in place, tele-conferencing has been the direction the Board of Trustees and Village President Frank Eubank have been utilizing.

On June 8, the Board of Trustees did meet in regular session, though in an irregular fashion, compared to previous fiscal cycles.

Details of the early June meeting of the Winnebago Village Board can be found online at

Residents who still have questions on what they should be doing or what the Board of Trustees has been working through, are encouraged to contact Winnebago Village Hall or checking things out online.

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