The village board of Oak Park will vote April 27 on a resolution to extend the declaration of emergency affecting public health until June 1, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The village board passed the original declaration over a month ago at an emergency morning meeting held March 13.

Oak Park issued a village-wide order to shelter in place just four days after declaring the public health emergency on March 18. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker declared a statewide order to stay at home March 20, effective March 21, to which Oak Park subsequently deferred.

Pritzker announced April 23 that he had extended his stay-at-home order through May 30. 

If passed, the extension of Oak Park’s declaration of a public health emergency allows village government to enter into contracts without advertising publicly, as well as “in cases of urgently needed material or urgent repairs involving labor and material, such repairs and material may be obtained through negotiated contract without formal advertising with the approval of the village manager, when it is in the best interest of the village and when it is impractical to convene a meeting of the board of trustees,” according to the resolution.

The declaration of a public health emergency also allows Village Manager Cara Pavlicek, with board approval, to “authorize any purchase or contracts necessary to place the village in a position to combat effectively any disaster, and to protect the public health and safety, protect property, and to provide emergency assistance to victims in the case of any manmade or natural disaster.”

Public health emergency declarations also give broader powers to the Oak Park Public Health Director, in this case Mike Charley, allowing the director to make “reasonable” rules and policies necessary to protect public           health and property, combat any disaster and provide emergency assistance victims. 

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