Woodford not planning to prosecute stay-at-home violators

Woodford not planning to prosecute stay-at-home violators

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EUREKA – Woodford County State’s Attorney Greg Minger has decided not to enforce the modified stay-at-home order extended through May 30 by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. He made his position known in a now-viral e-mail sent to the sheriff's department, health department, emergency management agency (EMA), Woodford County Board, its chair, John Krug, and EMA director, Kent McCanless.

“There are certainly due-process issues with a continued stay-at-home order,” Minger wrote. “The law does not provide for a quarantine of the state, only individuals that have a contagious illness.”

His e-mail also stated the public should determine what is best and safest for them and their community.

“Bottom line is as it stands at this moment, the extension of the stay-at-home order will not be prosecuted or enforced in Woodford County,” Minger wrote. "If that means going back to work and opening restaurants and bars and stores, then they should.”

He did not return requests for comment on Wednesday. The county has had 12 confirmed cases of coronavirus and one death.

The health department issued a statement Wednesday and it "highly recommends the public to continue to follow Governor Pritzker's Executive Order."

During a county board meeting this past week, health department Administrator Hillary Aggertt noted wearing masks and continued social distancing could reduce exposure. “Going back to the way it was before could cause high risk,” she said.

The statement added "WCHD urges the public to use precautions such as proper hand hygiene, social distancing (at least six feet) and wearing a mask."

According to McCanless, the county's emergency declaration provides access to supplies, assistance and any possible funding. The agency has been distributing homemade masks made by volunteers in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.

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