Rockford City Council votes to fine businesses that refuse to close during COVID-19 pandemic

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Non-essential businesses that refuse to shut down during the COVID-19 outbreak could be hit with a fine.

Rockford City Council members voted on the proposal Monday night. The virtual meeting was held over video conferencing.

The council approved issuing fines of up to $750 against those businesses.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker issued a Shelter in Place executive order more than a week ago.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara says a majority of business owners are already complying.

Businesses that are considered “non-essential” are allowed to operate if they conduct business online only, manage payroll, inventory and perform routine maintenance.

But, they are strictly forbidden from allowing walk-in business.

Businesses that are not bars or restaurants or grocery stores cannot offer curbside pickup.

Questions can be directed to the new Winnebago County COVID-19 Hotline at 815-319-6705.

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