EDWARDSVILLE - The City of Edwardsville has released information from the local state of emergency issued by Mayor Hal Patton at the Tuesday night City Council meeting.

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"Pursuant to the authority vested in the Office of Mayor by the Illinois Municipal Code Section 5/11-1-6, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act Section 3305/11, the Illinois Home Rule Powers granted under the Illinois Constitution and the Codified Ordinances of the City of Edwardsville, I, Hal R. Patton, the duly elected Mayor of the City of Edwardsville, do hereby declare and reaffirm that a Local State of Emergency exists as of this date November 17, 2020, and shall continue until such time that the statewide disaster proclamation is lifted or by further action by the City Council of the City of Edwardsville."

"With cases climbing faster than ever we feel it is necessary to take more affirmative action to prevent growth of the virus, said Mayor Hal Patton. "Local hospitals are becoming overcrowded with patients, raising concerns about the ability to provide adequate medical care to everyone who needs it."

City of Edwardsville Fire Department Chief James Whiteford issued the following statements about the Local State of Emergency instituted in the City of Edwardsville last night:

"Last night, the Edwardsville Mayor, Hal Patton signed a Local Declaration of Emergency. This is intended to raise awareness to the severity of the current COVID-19 outbreak and mandate the wear of masks, cleaning stations at all entry points for businesses, and limiting 25 percent of occupancy to all retail, office buildings, fitness centers, and convenience stores."

"More participation is needed from the public to help stop the growth of this virus.

"Think of it this way, the virus started out with just one person, now there are 55 million cases worldwide and well over a million deaths. The virus is winning and we have to work harder to stop it; fortunately we do know how. Wearing face coverings, avoiding groups and practicing social distancing works. We have seen it work in our own region. We just need everyone to buckle down and start doing these things again. When that happens we will see a drop in the number of cases.

"This declaration shows that the City of Edwardsville recognizes the seriousness of this situation and is asking the public to help stop the uncontrolled spread of this virus."

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This is the State of Emergency Order issued by Mayor Patton:

"An outbreak of COVID-19 has emerged and spread throughout the State of Illinois, Madison County, and the City of Edwardsville. Certain populations are at higher risk of experiencing more severe illness as a result of COVID-19, including older adults and those with serious chronic health conditions. Thus far, efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19 have proven unsuccessful and the virus continues to spread at alarming rates throughout Madison County. The seven-day positivity rate for the Illinois Department of Public Health has been rising steadily. The region currently exceeds a 15 percent positivity rate and the positivity rate is rising at an increasing pace. Hospitalizations are at an all-time high and bed availability is critically low. As of noon today, 205 patients with either confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection are hospitalized in Region 4 - 29 of them are in ICU, and 23 are on ventilators; seven have passed away since yesterday. The four hospitals closest to Edwardsville have 59 COVID-19 patients as of this afternoon, and two of these hospitals have no ICU beds available. Nurses are being transferred from surgery and other departments to provide care for critically ill patients."

"As conditions worsen, the risk to our community grows. When hospitals become overburdened, the ability to care for all patients who suffer. Non-COVID patients, like heart attack, stroke, and trauma patients, may not have normal access to the best medical care if this trend continues.

"In order to protect our community, the City of Edwardsville will now mandate the following:

Everyone must wear a mask

Businesses must provide hand sanitation at every entrance and all business occupancies are limited to a maximum of 25 percent of normal occupancy to include fitness facilities, retail centers, office buildings, and convenience stores.

Grocery stores and pharmacies are limited to a maximum of 50 percent of normal occupancy. In addition to these local mandates, the State of Illinois has mandated no indoor dining is allowed and that tents used for outdoor dining must be open on two sides.

Violations of the above, may result in a city-issued ticket and/or a hearing at City Municipal Court.

"Everyone must wear a mask or cloth facial covering at any time it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from others outside their immediate household. The mask must cover their mouth and nose."

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