'We're in a crisis': Fox Valley mayors make video urging residents to avoid holiday gatherings
With the holidays approaching and COVID-19 cases surging locally, the mayors of five Fox Valley towns teamed up to send a video message to their residents.
And that message is to stay safe by staying home and staying apart.
Elgin Mayor David Kaptain, South Elgin Village President Steve Ward, St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina, Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns and Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke participated in the video, urging residents to do what they can to stop the spread of COVID-19 as the Thanksgiving holiday draws near.
The more than four-minute video has been posted to each municipality's web and social media pages. It can also be found at tinyurl.com/yyymazs8. In it, the leaders speak "to" each other in alternating segments.
"We're in a crisis," Kaptain said in the video. "We know that lives are at risk. We have to do what's necessary."
"It keeps me awake at night," Ward said. "We have to look out for small business and health care workers and our vulnerable populations. We can do that if we all follow the public health guidance."
"We must follow the experts' guidelines if we have any chance of getting back to normal," Rogina said.
"By staying apart, we're staying together," Burns said.
"The city of energy knows we have the power to do the right thing for our first responders," Schielke said.
The idea came from conversations between a few of the leaders about concerns they all have regarding the surging positivity rates locally. After some brainstorming, the video was shot and produced by South Elgin communications specialist Craig Pierce.
"We wanted to get some sort of unified message out there that in the circumstances we're in right now, health and safety of the community is vitally important," Pierce said. "And to remind residents that we have three major hospitals among these five towns and we have to be concerned about all those health care workers and everyone else with ICUs filling up."
The video urges residents to keep wearing masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands, but the biggest message is to avoid gatherings during the holidays.
"Make alternative plans for your holiday season," Kaptain said. "It's time for us to not sit at the same table, potentially sharing the virus with our loved ones. We want you to be able to share future holidays with your parents and your grandparents."