Aurora city hall closed to public, mayor enacts emergency powers
Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora will ban patient visitors starting Tuesday morning, and has asked doctors to postpone elective surgeries, as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, its chief executive officer announced Monday.
John Diederich spoke at a news conference conducted by Mayor Richard Irvin at Aurora's City Hall.
Patients will be allowed to have one support person. Exceptions may be made when patients are nearing death, Diederich said. He also spoke about a separate triage area the hospital is setting up in its Emergency Department for flu and potential COVID-19 patients.
Irvin declared a formal emergency for the state's second-largest city, which gives him more powers, including the ability to order residents to shelter in place or be quarantined. He also announced that City Hall will be closed to the public Wednesday through March 31. Some city hall workers will work at city hall, but others will be working from home. Residents who need to conduct city business should call (630) 256-INFO or email email@example.com.
The city council will not meet; the mayor will have the authority to deal with pressing matters that normally require a city council vote.
Still, "Aurora is still open for business, but we just have to operate a little differently," Irvin said.
Irvin also had two restaurant owners speak about their plans to offer delivery or carryout service, and said the city will help publicize such businesses.
Ron Woerman, owner of O'Malley's and Spartan House, said he intends to bring meals out to customers' cars, not have them come in the buildings, because having crowds waiting inside "would kind of defeat the purpose."
Chief Management Officer Alex Alexandriou, in response to a question, stressed that no, people won't be able to order liquor with their carryout meals. And, "it is not OK to have people wait inside while they wait for their food and be served alcohol. We want to make sure we stick to the spirit of social distancing and the purpose of the governor's order and what our experts have been consistently suggesting to defeat the spread of the virus."
Irvin said he is also tired of hearing people say COVID-19 only affects old or ill people, "as if they don't matter.
"We all matter," he said.