Kenilworth halts Village Hall walk-ins in response to COVID-19 spike
As a COVID-19 mitigation measure, the Kenilworth Village Hall is closed to walk-in residents, according to an email from Village Manager Patrick Brennan sent Tuesday, Dec. 21.
The email said the building will not accept walk-up business for “a few weeks,” and Brennan added that he believes it will be through the holidays.
“A combination of dramatically increasing positivity rates, high transmissibility of the Omicron variant, and a small number of Village staff has led to the decision,” Brennan said in the email.
Kenilworth’s neighboring communities have not announced similar actions. Brennan said the Village has a limited number of staff members and wants to protect them to ensure village business can continue.
In a followup call, Brennan told The Record that the Village Hall serves between 50 and 70 walk-in residents a day; though, that number decreases during the holiday season.
The email says that village staff will continue daily work, from processing permits to scheduling inspections to responding to messages.
The Village Hall vestibule doors will remain open for residents who need to drop-off items for the Village, according to the email, and the police department’s help kiosk will remain available.
Brennan said the operational adjustment mimics the change from early in the pandemic, which “seemed to work fairly well,” the email said.
In the Village of Kenilworth, 70 percent of residents (or 1,766 out of 2,514 people) are fully vaccinated. The town’s positivity, according to Brennan, has risen 46 percent in the past two weeks.
According to Northwestern Medical data, Kenilworth is seeing about 2 new COVID-19 cases per day and has a rolling positivity rate of 5.81 percent — a number on par with the average Township’s positivity rate (5.75%), which is up from 3.11 percent a week ago (Dec. 14). The township’s communities — which also include Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe and Northfield — are counting 52 new cases per day, up from 25 on Dec. 14.
“You are likely tired of hearing from most news sources, get vaccinated, wear your mask, and wash your hands,” Brennan wrote in the email. “We agree with the messaging, but will not scold those who are not following the medical advice. We will ask you to please take care of yourself, your family and your neighbors. We have a great community and caring for one another is part of what makes us special.”
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319