During the last few weeks, members of many of the local municipalities and first response organizations have been putting together a series of plans with which to move forward on re-opening Henry County, in accordance with the guidelines set forward by the Governor’s office.


The Henry County Restore Team, as they refer to themselves, is a coalition of the cities of Geneseo, Kewanee, Galva, Villages of Colona, Orion, Woodhull, Cambridge, Atkinson and Annawan. Hammond-Henry Hospital and the Henry & Stark County Health Department also input heavily towards the plan. The Chambers of Commerce for the Cities of Geneseo and Kewanee, as well as the Henry County Office of Economic Development offered their guidance as the plan took shape, as well as many members of law enforcement. Many other individuals and organizations, too numerous to mention, also had much to do with the formation of this plan.


By forming local guidelines, the planning group hopes to keep this Plan fluid and responsive to changes in the situations in Henry county.


“The roadmap and toolkit have been developed, reviewed and approved by all municipalities in Henry Co., in addition to the Henry Co. Board and Economic development team. Both documents are fluid and adaptable to evolving conditions and State phases. Our intent is to quicken the economic and clinical recovery by sharing data, being safe and keeping our local and county numbers down; by working together and setting expectations for our businesses and community members. ” stated Mark Kuhn, CEO of Hammond-Henry Hospital.


This comprehensive document can be accessed at the City of Geneseo’s website, just click on the scrolling link across the top. The document, “Road to Recovery” outlines the various Phases the state has created and the triggers necessary to move to the next Phase. The document outlines the state’s various regions, and how they are to reopen within the parameters of the Governor’s Plan. It references the criteria on indoor occupancy on businesses and organizations, Work from Home status, Wellness and Safety parameters, Outdoor spaces and the kinds of gatherings that can occur.


Forward Together, a Henry County Toolkit, is the companion plan put together by the Henry County teams. It is considered the checklist for re-opening all kinds of businesses in the County. A 50 page document which is a checklist, which is industry specific for re-opening in the Governor’s Third and Fourth Phases.


“We appreciate all the efforts so far to keep our communities safe, foster open communication and keep our COVID-19 numbers very favorable. Moving forward, we understand everyone is anxious to reopen their doors and we want to help to quicken that process, with safety, sustainability and collective efforts in mind,” shares Sean Johnson, Mayor of Geneseo.


“I ’d like to add that the Geneseo Chamber of Commerce feels very encouraged by this roadmap & toolkit, which has been tailored specifically for Henry County. These resources provide local guidance to local businesses working to reopen within public safety guidelines so that customers and employees feel safe about returning to stores while giving employers the tools needed to bounce back from the shutdown.” commented Zack Sullivan, of the Geneseo Chamber, “To see leadership from across Henry County come together to develop a safe and responsible reopening strategy has been inspiring. This is a step in the right direction. The Geneseo Chamber is grateful to have been involved during this process and will continue to support our local business community in any way we can moving forward.”


Henry County Board has drafted a document to be sent to the Governor, to request being drawn into a smaller, more regional district, that includes other like counties. Should this eventually occur, it may accelerate movement towards the subsequent phases.


Both documents can be accessed at the City of Geneseo’s website, https://www.cityofgeneseo.com/, and click on the scrolling banner to access. It is also available at the Geneseo Chamber of Commerce’s website, www.geneseo.org.