City leaders and store owners agree: “Wear your mask!”


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Since entering Phase 4 on Friday, the Winnebago County Health Department has reported nearly 70 new cases of COVID-19. As city and leaders say, they are still getting reports of people and businesses not following safety guidelines.

One business has gone as far as to say ‘No shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service.’ (No debates or exceptions). That is the new rule when it comes to dining at Baker Street Burgers.

“It’s all about, you know, protection not only for [our customers], but for our employees and everyone around us,” explained Betsy Baker, the owner of Baker Street Burgers.

For nearly a week, Stateline restaurants have been open for indoor dining as part of the Reopen Illinois plan. Despite decreased restrictions on diners, it’s hardly gone back to ‘business as usual.’

“Clients and customers should adhere to posted notices from businesses and establishments, or risk not receiving services,” said Dr. Sandra Martell of the WCHD.

During Tuesday’s press conference, Rockford city leaders stressed the important role face coverings will play in keeping Illinois on the leader board of COVID-19 prevention efforts.

“We have an obligation to those business owners who have sacrificed so much for the wellbeing of our entire state and our city of Rockford and Winnebago County, that the least we can do, the least we can do, is play our incredibly small role that is incredibly easy to do. Wear a face covering,” urged Mayor Tom McNamara.

“We can’t seat more than a maximum of ten people per table, we have hand sanitizers and washing stations everywhere, sanitizing everything in between and of course the wearing of masks,” Baker added.

Baker takes the prevention measures to heart–even implementing a new restaurant policy: No mask, no burger.

“I know that it’s not comfortable, nobody loves wearing masks. But it’s what we have to do in this current time to keep ourselves safe and keep ourselves from going backwards,” she added.

Management tells Eyewitness News that a few people have complained about the rule but the lives they are saving because of the precaution is more important.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article implied Johnny Pamcakes was not following the face covering rule. This is not the case. Johnny Pamcakes is in compliance. We apologize for this error.


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