ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Winnebago County Health Department has issued closure orders for 13 more locally owned businesses for remaining open or refusing to enforce face covering mandates, in defiance of Gov. JB Pritzker’s latest Region 1 COVID-19 restrictions.
The Filling Station in Rockford, Ace Hardware in Roscoe, Spring Garden Restaurant in Loves Park, Opsahl’s Tavern in Rockford, Neli’s Family Restaurant in South Beloit, Casey’s Pub in Loves Park, Potato Shak in Loves Park, Nora’s Place in South Beloit, Firehouse Pub in Roscoe, JJ’s Tavern in South Beloit, Rascal’s Bar and Grill in Loves Park, RBI’s in Rockford, and the Waffle Shop in Loves Park were issued Order of Closures.
They join Hoffman House in Rockford, Ref’s Bar and Grill in Durand, Baseball Tap in Cherry Valley, Golden Corral in Rockford, Latham Tap West in Rockford, Doc’s Diner in Loves Park, Neighbor’s Bar and Grill in Loves Park, and Fozzy’s Bar and Grill in Loves Park.
Health officials say that “a reasonable belief exists that the premises identified in this Order has engaged or is suspected of engaging in a significant amount of activity likely to spread the following dangerously contagious or infectious disease: COVID-19.”
Under the current mitigations from the state, bars and restaurants are not allowed to offer indoor service, as Illinois’ Region 1’s rolling 7-day testing positivity rate for the coronavirus remains at 11.7%, above the 8% threshold allowed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
With colder months approaching, local bars and restaurants have voiced concern that their businesses will not be able to survive if they do not remain open.
At a press conference on Thursday, Pritzker also said the Illinois State Police will issue citations to businesses which do not comply with the executive order, and the state will look at revoking liquor and gaming licenses.
He also said he will be asking State’s Attorneys to help bring bars and restaurants into compliance.
“Stop trying to find a flaw in the data,” Pritzker said. “Bars and restaurants are top places where spreading takes place”
Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health have issued additional restrictions on bars and restaurants beginning Sunday, October 25th, which would reduce seating for outdoor dining to six individuals instead of the previously allowed 10.
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