Arlington Hts. mayor tell residents he won't defy the governor's orders

Updated 5/9/2020 1:18 PM

Arlington Heights Mayor Thomas Hayes said in a message to residents that despite being urged to use his authority to reopen businesses, he will abide by Gov. J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home orders.

Responding to critics of the governor's plan for reopening the state, Hayes said, "There is no doubt that a number of our residents and businesses believe that the plan is not aggressive enough to address the adverse social and economic impacts resulting from the stay-at-home orders."


He said some have told him he should defy the orders, but as an Army veteran, "I learned long ago that we must follow the lawful orders of those in the chain of command appointed over us."

Five Arlington Heights residents have died from the COVID-19 virus since March 16, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. The Illinois Department of Public Health reports there have been 268 confirmed cases of people in the village testing positive for the virus.

Hayes said police have responded to reports about violations of social distancing guidelines, including breaching entrance barriers at parks.

"We are all anxious to get back to something as close to normal as soon as possible. I truly believe that the only way to get there is to be strong and stay the course for however many more weeks it takes," he said. "Although we are apart, we can get through this if we work together."

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