Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara echoes governor on staying home for Easter

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD – Although it is not known which parts of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive stay-at-home do not sit well with Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara, he’s in agreement on one thing.

Staying home for Easter.

Just as Pritzker on Friday urged Illinoisans to limit Easter celebrations to only those in their households, McNamara said now is not the time to start venturing out to see extended loved ones.

“I have a large family and would like nothing more than to see my parents, my siblings and my nieces and nephews this weekend,” the mayor said in a statement. “However, I know that staying apart now only increases the chances we can all be together in the future.”

Pritzker said he celebrated Passover last week via a Zoom call with his extended family, saying it was fun and akin to appearing on the classic TV game show, “Hollywood Squares.”

McNamara didn’t say whether he will be Zooming this Easter but he believes staying home is how Illinois has begun to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

“Although I do not agree with every word or definition in the State’s Executive Order, I certainly agree with the premise – if we stay home, drastically limit our travel and practice social distancing, we will save live,” he said. “Early data across the US and Illinois suggest we are seeing a slowing of the spread.”

As a city, Rockford has never faced a challenge like the coronavirus pandemic, McNamara said. And while his administration faces significant revenue losses and an uncertain future, there will be a day after COVID-19.

“We will be ready to rebound like never before and that celebration will be all the sweeter because of our collective efforts,” the mayor said.

As of this report, 94 people have tested positive in Winnebago County for COVID-19, and seven people have died.

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