State Rep. Steve Reick Urges Governor to Follow Recommendations of McHenry County Council of Governments

Woodstock, IL – State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) is advising Governor Pritzker to seriously consider the proposal issued in a letter written by the McHenry County Council of Governments to remove the County from Region 4 of his recent “Restore Illinois” plan, as it puts the County into the same region as Cook County and Chicago, which have the highest incidences of COVID-19 in the state.

“The McHenry County Council of Governments has long been a strong advocate for the interests of this County, and I heartily support its efforts to convince the Governor that this County cannot wait for Chicago and Cook County to reach the same benchmarks that we’ve achieved here.” said Reick. “Public health, personal freedom, and economics are not the only competing values at stake. We’re now beginning to experience the social and psychological costs of prolonged isolation, which will only get worse over time.”

The letter, signed by the 25 mayors and municipal executives in the Council as well as by County Board Chairman Jack Franks, asks that McHenry County become its own region or be included in the North-Central Region, which includes 27 other counties lying west of the McHenry County line and extending to the Mississippi River.

The eight-page letter makes the case through solid scientific and statistical evidence that McHenry County has met the criteria to move to the next higher phase in Governor’s recovery plan, and would thus allow for more businesses and institutions to re-open, with adequate safeguards. Those signing the letter also pledged to adopt and enforce such specific safeguards should the governor honor the request and move McHenry County to Phase 3.

“As currently written, the Governor’s plan will not allow McHenry County to move into Phase 3 until the entire region, with its heavy concentration of COVID-19 cases in Chicago meets the benchmarks already achieved here.” Reick continued. “McHenry County has more in common with its neighboring counties to the west, especially in terms of reported COVID-19 cases and health care system readiness than it does with Cook County.”

McHenry County and the Northeast Region are currently in Phase Two (“Flattening”) of the five-phase plan. Phase Three (“Recovery”) allows businesses now deemed “non-essential” such as retail and service businesses like barbershops to reopen with precautions such as face masks and capacity limits.

“There’s no such thing as a ‘non-essential’ business to the man or woman who opens the door every day.” Reick said. “These people cannot be expected to wait for Chicago to recover before they reopen their businesses. If we don’t allow them to open now, there will be little left to save when the Governor says they can.”

To view the letter, click here: