As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, also referred to as the Coronavirus, spread from being relatively contained around Cook County last week to a case being identified as close as Champaign County over the weekend, area schools, governments, businesses and groups have enacted new procedures to handle the current situation.

The plans for area schools are detailed in the front page story. The Chronicle has listed several of those procedures below and will add to the list as more become available:

City of Hoopeston

Hoopeston Mayor Bill Crusinberry released the City of Hoopeston’s response to the recent announcement of cases of COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, in Champaign County Sunday.

“Due to the recently announced cases of COVID-19 in Champaign County, it has been decided to implement Stage I of the City of Hoopeston COVID-19 response plan,” Crusinberry said in a press release. “This plan was created by myself, EMA Director Brad Hardcastle, and Chief of Police Jim DeWitt to combat the spread of this virus throughout our city.”

The following steps will begin effective Tuesday, March 17:

- Crusinberry will direct city department heads and employees to begin planning for contingency of operations and staffing needs throughout the crisis.

- Crusinberry encourage the community to stay home if they are feeling ill and avoid public spaces or gatherings.

- Citizens should be ready to implement personal preparedness to limit the spread of the virus (proper handwashing, hygiene, sanitation, etc.).

- City Hall will be open to the public only by appointment. Please call the city offices at 217-283-5833 to arrange an appointment if necessary.

- Alternate payment methods are pay by phone, pay online, or drop it in the drop box in front of City Hall.

- The police department window will still be open for walk-in reports.

- The regularly scheduled City Council meeting for March 17 will be open to the public. However, Crusinberry asks that citizens observe social distancing in the Council Chambers. Those choosing to attend should wash their hands thoroughly or sanitize once inside the building. If a member of the public has any symptoms of illness, please stay home.

“I will be holding regular briefings with the police chief and EMA director to determine the extent of the spread of the virus and if other actions need to be taken, such as implementation of Stage II or III,” Crusinberry said.

Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center

Carle continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 on our community with public health officials. As always, the safety and well-being of the community is our priority.

Due to ongoing community concerns regarding COVID-19, Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center (CHRHC) has put into place thorough screening procedures before patients and their visitors are permitted into the hospital facility.

- Every patient & visitor will be met by a staff member at the main registration doors, and asked a series of screening questions.

- Masks will be provided to anyone who is displaying upper respiratory symptoms.

- Outpatient procedures and routine diagnostic testing are still being conducted as normal.

- Additional entrances to CHRHC will not be accessible at this time.

Additional information on Carle’s efforts surrounding COVID-19 can be found on carle.org.

Hoopeston Multi-Agency

The Hoopeston Multi-Agency canceled Saturday’s planned Senior Dance due concerns over COVID-19.

The Multi-Agency issued the following statement on Facebook regarding the decision:

“Due to the recent concerns of COVID-19, the Hoopeston Multi Agency regretfully cancels the Senior Dance on Saturday, March 14, 2020. Even though the staff and board looks forward to this event, we feel that it is in the best interest of all that are involved to err on the side of caution at this time. We pray that the pandemic will be resolved and we will be able to host the April 11 dance. Thank you for your understanding.”

Hoopeston Animal Rescue Team

The Hoopeston Animal Rescue Team announced Thursday that the shelter will open by appointment only in order the reduce the risk to volunteers.

A statement posted on HART’s Facebook page read as follows:

“In order to reduce the risk to our volunteers we will only be open for appointments with approved applications until further notice. You can go to hartshelter.org or to our Facebook page to view all of the animals available for adoption and there is an online application. You can also call the shelter at 217-283-0779 for more information on a pet that you might be interested in. We will accept lost and owner surrendered pets from the city of Hoopeston, identification is necessary. Thank you for your support and understanding as this is for everyone’s safety.”

Lorraine Foundation

‘ The March movies at the Little Lorraine have been cancelled as has the planned Seven Bridges Eagles tribute concert that was set to take place at the Lorraine Theatre April 4.

Heritage Health

Heritage Health posted updated visitor restrictions on their Facebook page March 14. The statement is printed below:

“In response to the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 as a pandemic global outbreak, effective immediately there will be NO VISITORS ALLOWED. This restriction will be effective today until further notice. Our first priority is the safety and well-being of the residents/patients we serve who can be the most vulnerable to acquiring this virus. We realize and understand the importance of support and encouragement from family and friends during the healing process, so we encourage you to reach out to your loved ones via phone, Skype, FaceTime, etc. All staff members and essential personnel will be screened prior to the start of their shift or upon entry to the building. Any staff member or essential personnel who has a temperature or displays signs or symptoms will not be allowed to work or enter the premises. Thank you for your understanding during this time.”

Hoopeston Public Library

The Hoopeston Public Library will be closed effective March 16 in response to COVID-19 and in an effort to control the spread of the virus.

The library issued a press release stating that it would be closed until further notice.

“We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis and will keep the public updated via local media, including WHPO, Just the Facts and The Chronicle, as well as the library Facebook page.”

All library programs are cancelled until further notice.

Any overdue fines incurred on library materials will be waived when they are returned after the library reopens.

“We urge patrons to practice safe procedures and to take advantage of the many online resources we offer, including digital books for children and adults,” the statement said. “Additional information about our online libraries and other services is available on our website, hooplib.org, and our Facebook page.”

The library offers three digital online libraries with books. Visit hooplib.org for information on how to sign up for: Cloud Library, Libby/Overdrive and RB Digital.