EDWARDSVILLE - The Edwardsville City Council meeting of Tuesday, March 17, 2020, discussed primarily coronavirus concerns.

The meeting was held at The Wildey Theater in Edwardsville, where the council plans to host their meetings now. It is a bigger location where people can spread out, with easier access to hand washing stops. The council took many precautions, with two aldermen calling into the meeting so they wouldn’t have to be present and around others.

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“I’m very proud of our public safety staff," Mayor Patton said. "We are trying to gather all the information that we believe is pertinent and get it out to the general public. What we’re seeing now is a change in our norms. We’re changing the way we typically do things and doing it for the sake of public health. Your family, your friends, your life, depends on smart choices. Our businesses and our local economy depend on all of us working together. My mentality that I’ve shared with my family is we’re gonna hunker down, we’re gonna have a stay-in-place mentality, and keep safe distances. If we can all think about that in our daily lives, I think we can make it through this as unscathed as possible. I think it's smart to listen to the public health professionals who are saying we don’t really have a treatment for this, the best way to avoid this being a huge problem is to prevent spreading it and prevent getting it."

The City of Edwardsville quickly took action as the state governments started shutting everything down. They immediately began working to inform the public of the changes that would be taking place from school closings to restaurants only being open for carry-out.

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“The administration has been putting together public release information and statements that we’ve been able to post on our website as well as get out to the newspapers," Mayor Patton said. "We’re still concerned that there are some residents in town that do not get the newspaper or have the ability to pull up our Facebook page or city website. So what we had proposed at the Emergency Operation Command Center was that we would put a letter together to our residents that we would either mail out or deliver. So this letter would be sent out to individuals of the neighborhood associations and subdivision presidents with the request they forward them to households in neighborhoods that have established these neighborhood associations."

The council discussed the best method to distribute the information to the public, ultimately deciding in a time of social distancing, mail would be the best method.

Another decision made at the meeting was to postpone the plastic bag ban for at least a month. The council plans to reassess the issue at a later meeting, stating that now just isn’t the best time to start placing additional charges onto the public.

The council is continuing to keep a close eye on the situation and taking all precautions. Mayor Patton said that prevention is the best measure to be taken, with much optimism about keeping the virus away as much as possible.

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