YORKVILLE – Kendall County officials gave the green light this week for a resolution that would require face masks and social distancing in some county buildings.
The County Board voted, 8-0, to approve the resolution during their Tuesday, Sept. 15, meeting at the old county courthouse. County Board members Elizabeth Flowers and Tony Giles were absent from the meeting.
Kendall County Administrator Scott Koeppel said masks would be required in places where it is not possible to maintain social distance. However, if a county employee is working at a space where wearing a cloth face mask might be a hazard – such as the highway department maintenance personnel working with torches – or if they are working in their office where social distances can be maintained, masks wouldn’t be necessary, he said.
“It’s really recommended in hallways and other areas because you’re likely to run into someone,” Koeppel said.
The amendment would apply only to the county’s office building, 111 W. Fox St.; the old courthouse, 110 W. Madison St.; and the highway department, 6780 Route 47, according to county officials.
County Board member Matt Kellogg said policies affecting the county courthouse are overseen by 23rd Circuit Chief Judge Robert Pilmer and policies affecting the county’s public safety center by Kendall County Sheriff Dwight Baird.
“We don’t really have jurisdiction to tell them what to do,” Kellogg said.
Koeppel said the three buildings that the resolution covered always had signs in accordance with Illinois Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. He said the thought was to officially codify the policy at the request of County Board members.
“It’s more of a way to publicize that they’re backing it,” Koeppel said.
Koeppel said there are no fines or fees outlined for people who violate the resolution. The objective is just to show support for the practice of wearing a face mask when social distancing can’t be maintained, he said.
“Just that we think it’s important, it’s valuable and that people should be doing it,” Koeppel said.
Koeppel said the Kendall County Health Department reviewed and recommended the resolution, as well.
The resolution will be implemented immediately and will remain in effect until Kendall County has reached Phase 5 of Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan, which includes an effective treatment or vaccine for COVID-19.