3 more Rockford bars and restaurants ordered to close for violating COVID-19 regulations

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Winnebago County Health Department has issued closure orders for a total of 8 restaurants and bars for failure to comply with Gov. Pritzker’s latest COVID-19 regulations.

Hoffman House, at 7550 E. State Street, Ref’s Bar and Grill, at 415 N. Center Street, and Baseball Tap, at 2020 Walnut Street have been issued Facility Order of Closures along with Doc’s Diner, Neighbors Bar & Grill, Fozzy’s Bar & Grill, Golden Corral and Latham Tap West.

Eleven other establishments have been issued a Notice to Disperse, which is the second of three steps the WCHD takes prior to issuing a closure order.

Under the enhanced restrictions currently in place in Illinois’ Region 1, which includes Winnebago County, bars and restaurants are forbidden to have indoor service.

Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health say the region must have a rolling 7-day coronavirus testing positivity rate of 6.5% or less for three consecutive days in order to lift the enhanced restrictions.

The region currently stands at 11.8%.

On Tuesday, health officials sent out a statement to clarify extra mitigation efforts as Region 1 continues to see a spike in COVID-19 positivity rate.

Last week, WCHD director Dr. Sandra Martell announced that up to 25 people would be allowed in bars and restaurants hosting special events. However, this announcement may have caused some confusion throughout the community.

“I understand the frustration of restaurant and bar owners with the back and forth rules and guidance,” said Mayor Tom McNamara. “The City is providing this information on enforcement to help owners understand our position and our plans moving forward as we balance supporting business owners and protecting public health.”

Bars and restaurants that serve as venues for meetings, social events, and gatherings may provide
indoor seating.

  • A seating will be defined as a meeting, social event, or gathering of 25 or fewer attendees.
  • A seating will be defined as a meeting, social event, or gathering of 25 or fewer attendees.
  • A seating will have designated start and end times not to exceed 1.5 hours/90 minutes.
  • Reservations are required for all seatings and must include the name, address, and cell phone
  • contact information for all individuals in the seating.
  • Households may be seated together but must be separated to ensure six (6) feet of social
  • distancing from other tables.
  • An attendee is limited to one seating per 24-hour period.
  • Meetings/social events/gatherings may start at 6:00 am and end at 9:30 pm to allow for closure by 11:00 pm.
  • Designated space for meetings, social events, and gatherings must be physically separated from outdoor seating under Restaurants and Bars. If there are multiple designated spaces within an establishment, they must be separated by physical walls and doorways with ideally separate ventilation systems.
  • There should be no more than five (5) meetings, social events or gatherings/seatings per day

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