« Back to News & Notices



Governor Issues Shelter-in-Place Order

Effective 3/21/20 at 5:00pm until April 7, 2020, Governor Pritzker has issued a statewide “Shelter in Place” order.  Shelter in Place means finding a safe place indoors and staying there unless you need to leave for critical services or supplies.  The City of Athens offers the following tips to get through the Shelter in Place order:


  1. Don’t panic. The Governor’s order permits grocery, fuel and pharmacy establishments to remain open.  Other essential services, such as healthcare facilities, banks, emergency dental, fueling stations, veterinary care and critical building materials/services remain available as needed.
  2. Minimize your trips. Try to consolidate your trips out of the home into one outing per week.  For example, if you have a doctor’s appointment, schedule your grocery store, pharmacy and fuel purchases before or after the appointment.
  3. Don’t hoard food or supplies. Illinois has a robust food supply chain and our grocery stores will have food available.  Hoarding food and supplies creates hardships for critical employees like doctors, nurses, firefighters and police officers, who don’t have the flexibility to shop at different times of the day.
  4. If you have an emergency, call 911. Do not avoid calling 911.  If you need help, ask for it!
  5. Take advantage of service for high-risk individuals. Many grocery and general merchandise stores are providing special hours for high-risk and elderly individuals to shop for essential items.
  6. Don’t go to work. Unless you are an essential employee, such as a doctor, nurse, police officer, paramedic, or you are ordered to work to supply goods or services essential to the COVID-19 response, you should only be working from home.
  7. Check before you go. With limited hours and closures in place, you should check with the stores you intend to use to ensure they will be open.  Most stores have posted special hours on their websites.
  8. Stay healthy! The Governor’s Executive Order does not prohibit you from engaging in physical activity, such as walking or jogging outdoors.
  9. Observe social distancing guidelines. If you leave your home, be sure to maintain a 6-foot separation from others when in public, and do not congregate in groups of 10 or more persons.
  10. Martial law has not been activated. The City of Athens will not be closing roads or arresting individuals for being out in public.   Use your best judgment when going out in public.
  11. Be a good neighbor. If you have elderly or high-risk neighbors, check on their safety.  Share your groceries and supplies if there is a need.


At this time, at-home services such as food delivery, mail delivery and refuse pickup remain in place.


City of Athens Elevates to Response Level 3: Life Safety Operations

In response to the Governor’s Executive Order, the City of Athens has elevated its service levels to Level 3: Life Safety Operations.  What this means:


  1. Essential services are provided. Only essential personnel will physically report to work.  This includes police officers, firefighter/paramedics, water/sewer operators, refuse haulers and 911 dispatchers.
  2. Non-emergency phones are not manned. Calls to general lines will be routed to voice mail services and answered later. If you have an emergency, call 911.
  3. Certain services may be reduced or stopped. At this time, services such as residential refuse pickup are still provided as scheduled.  Items such as yard waste pickup, At Your Door Service and bulk item pickup are not available. 
  4. Your water is safe. The City of Athens is committed to providing safe, clean drinking water to your home.  There is no need to boil water or drink bottled water.
  5. What to do during a water or sewer emergency. If you experience a critical loss of water or sewer service, call (217) 636-8429 and you’ll be forwarded to the emergency number.
  6. All City facilities are closed to the public.


  1. Grocery stores
  2. Pharmacies
  3. Banks
  4. Laundromats/dry cleaners/laundry services
  5. Social service agencies, including counseling services
  6. Businesses that provide sanitation services
  7. Food banks
  8. Veterinary services
  9. Healthcare facilities - doctor’s offices, immediate care centers, dialysis centers, dentists, imaging facilities, healthcare equipment and supply companies
  10. Critical residential services – heating/air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, sewer service, disaster recovery services
  11. Critical building materials vendors – electrical, plumbing, structural, chemicals, fire suppression, electrical generators
  12. Telecommunications suppliers, including public safety radios and antennas
  13. Automotive parts and fluids suppliers
  14. Liquor stores, when ancillary to a grocery store
  15. Bulk water dispensing stations
  16. Fueling stations
  17. Restaurant carry out and delivery