3 additional local businesses ordered to close for defying Gov. Pritzker’s indoor dining ban

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Winnebago County Health Department have issued Orders of Closure to three more local bars and restaurants, joining a growing list of 26 establishments that have been ordered to close for defying Gov. JB Pritzker’s executive order to suspend indoor service.

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.”

Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health have issued additional restrictions on bars and restaurants in Region 1, which bans indoor dining service and reduces seating for outdoor dining to six individuals instead of the previously allowed 10.

Onyx Bar and Grill in Machesney Park, Hogs and Hydrants in Durand, and Sophia’s in Roscoe, have been issued closure orders for staying open for indoor service or not complying with Gov. JB Pritzker’s mask ordinance.

Ace Hardware in Roscoe, Franchesco’s Ristorante in Rockford and Jax Pub in Loves Park, JJ’s Tavern in South Beloit, and Spring Garden Restaurant in Loves Park, have each been issued closure orders.

Baseball Tap in Cherry Valley, Casey’s Pub in Loves Park, The Filling Station in Rockford, Firehouse Pub in Roscoe, Golden Corral in Rockford, Hoffman House in Rockford, Rascal’s Bar and Grill in Loves Park, RBI’s in Rockford,  Neli’s Family Restaurant in South Beloit, Nora’s Place in South Beloit, Opsahl’s Tavern in Rockford, Potato Shak in Loves Park, Waffle Shop in Loves Park, have each been issued a 2nd notice of closure.

Doc’s Diner in Loves Park, Fozzy’s Bar and Grill in Loves Park, Latham Tap West in Rockford, Neighbor’s Bar and Grill in Loves Park, and Ref’s Bar and Grill in Durand, have been issued their 3rd closure order.

Urban Forest Craft Brewing has been issued a Notice to Disperse for failure to suspend indoor dining service. If the facility is not in compliance during the next inspection, an Order of Closure is sure to follow.

Eleven other local businesses have been cited for non-compliance.

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 above the 8% threshold allowed by the IDPH.

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.

While the health department does not have the ability to enforce the mitigation, WCHD director Dr. Sandra Martell said Monday, “We are submitting those names and areas that are not in compliance” to both the Winnebago County State’s Attorney and the Illinois Attorney General.

To businesses on the non-compliance list multiple times, Martell said, “At some point we have to ask, ‘is your intent to spread the virus’?’”

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