Mendota City Council approves declaration of emergency; protective face coverings required

Mendota seeing surge in COVID-19 cases


MENDOTA – The Mendota City Council declared a Local State of Emergency and passed an ordinance in regard to that state of emergency and the wearing of face coverings at a special city council meeting on Aug. 6. This is in response to a five-fold increase in the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in Mendota within the last four weeks.

With the state of emergency, Mayor David Boelk executed an Executive Order stating the following:

  • A business found to be in violation of following guidelines pertaining to COVID-19 mitigation as set forth by the State of Illinois will be fined in accordance with Ordinance 08-06-20, shut down or both.
  • A business with a liquor license issued by the City of Mendota found to be violating the guidelines pertaining to COVID-19 mitigation as set forth by the State of Illinois will immediately have its liquor license suspended for a period of not less than one week together with the fine contained in Ordinance 08-06-20. The Liquor Commissioner will have final determination of the length of revocation and amount of fine.
  • A person who enters a retail establishment in the City of Mendota and refuses to wear a face mask and refuses to leave the premises will be fined and charged with reckless conduct and/or criminal trespass. Anyone convicted of the offense may be fined an amount up to $500 as set forth in Ordinance 08-06-20. Patrons with a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a face mask should notify the owner or owner’s representative and follow the establishment’s accommodations.

Protective Face Coverings

Protective face coverings are now required under the ordinance adopted by the city council. All persons within the municipal boundary of the city engaging in any activity outside of their residence, while other people are present, shall wear protective face coverings when they must leave their home or report to work.

Examples of when face coverings are required include, but are not limited to:

  • Shopping or working at retail businesses, like grocery stores or pharmacies
  • Picking up food from a drive-thru or curbside pickup
  • Visiting a health care provider
  • Traveling on public transportation, taxis or rideshare
  • Interacting with customers, clients or co-workers at a place of business or worship that is open to the general public
  • Performing services for state and local government agencies, where close interactions with other people are unavoidable
  • When feeling sick, coughing or sneezing or otherwise ill


Exceptions to wearing protective face coverings are:

  • Protective face coverings are not required for children under 2 years of age, or for those with medical issues that would be compromised by wearing a face covering
  • Protective face coverings are not required when engaged in physical activity such as walking or running while maintaining social distancing from others of not less than six feet
  • Protective face coverings are not required when alone or with members of the same household
  • Protective face coverings are not required when eating or drinking, whether in public or private

The restrictions are effective until the City of Mendota repeals the ordinance or the expiration of the state of emergency (up to 120 days), whichever comes first.

Any person violating the provisions of the ordinance shall be guilty of an offense against the city and punished by a fine of not more than $500, and the city may take other emergency action to enforce this ordinance.

A business owner or operator may refuse admission or service to any individual who fails to wear a face covering reasonably designed and made to inhibit, filter or restrict the passing of a person’s breath, sneeze, cough or other exhaling from one’s nose and mouth.

State of Illinois guidelines and information pertaining to the use of face masks may be found online. Persons may also contact the Mendota City Clerk’s office at 815-539-7459 with questions pertaining to the guidelines.

“We are truly just trying to protect the health and welfare of this community,” stated Boelk. “We are not trying to harm anyone’s rights. We are just trying to keep people safe.

“We all have become lax after a three-month period. We need to be more careful. We’re not trying to be the bad guy. Our positivity rate in Mendota is at 13 percent. That is a scary number.”


In Aldermanic Reports, Jim Fitzpatrick presented a proposal to purchase a parcel of land near the Victory Baptist Church on West Seventh Avenue for a new lift station. The ordinance was approved.

Alderman John Hessenberger informed the council of a zoning variance request for the property owners at 506 Sixth St. to construct a one-car garage to be located two feet from the property line to the east and three feet to the north. The council agreed that the waiver should be signed prior to the final granting of the request.