Lake County Board Member Dick Barr, a Republican from Round Lake Beach is calling on his colleagues on the Lake County Board to join him in requesting additional measures be taken immediately to heighten the County’s response to the spreading Coronavirus, now that a Lake County case has been identified.
Citing data that shows adding “Social Distancing” to the recommended response can slow the hyperbolic increase in the disease’s spread, limit the demand on health care facilities and reduce fatalities, Barr is calling for the County to “lead by example” by implementing a policy of Social Distancing. “We have evidence going back to the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 that shows Social Distancing can drastically limit and slow the spread of a disease,” said Barr.
The CDC defines social distancing as remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
Barr said, “Data shows that cases in the U.S. are doubling every two days. With a long incubation period and evidence that the virus can be spread before symptoms show, it is very likely that more cases exist that we don’t know about yet.”
Lake County Board Member, Michael Danforth, a Barrington Republican, who is also an attorney practicing in Lake County, agrees with Barr. “Our courts have hundreds of people coming in and out, exposing themselves and others to possible spread of a known virus,” said Danforth.
He added, “Our judges, employees, officers, attorneys and the general public are being somewhat forced to be in close quarters, in small, enclosed spaces, which is probably the number one way for a virus to spread. We need to investigate options that would add video and teleconferencing for simple matters that don’t necessarily require in person appearances.”
Barr said, he is by no means calling for a panicked, overresponse, yet a measured and reasonable call to limit events that attract large gatherings of people in an attempt to proactively prevent the spread of the virus, which can be fatal to vulnerable populations, specifically elderly and those with compromised immune systems. “Even though the recovery rate is extremely high, over 97%, I believe this is an important step to protecting our entire community from a virus that we still know very little about, and do not yet have a vaccine for”, said Barr.
County Board Member, Mike Rummel, a Lake Forest Republican said, “I questioned whether we should be cancelling our public meetings for the time being since I saw information from insurance companies discouraging gatherings in excess of 20 people in confined spaces.” He added, “I think we need to immediately look at technology options to allow for meetings without putting the public or our staff at risk, so we can maintain continuity of Government for the residents of Lake County.”
County Board Member Diane Hewitt, a Democrat from Waukegan agrees, “we need to act in the best interest of our residents, immediately, for the sake of their health and well-being. I join my colleagues in requesting a stronger response to the current pandemic, as identified by the CDC, sooner than later.”
Barr said he participated in a CDC briefing today put on by the White House, where the recommendation was made to consider rearranging large activities and gatherings, in addition to the current recommendations of the Three C’s: Clean Cover and Contain. “I am asking all governments to consider cancelling or postponing large gatherings to help slow the spread of the virus.”