Rockford-area school, businesses cited for non-compliance of COVID guidelines

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Three local establishments have been cited for non-compliance with Gov. JB Pritzker’s executive order requiring face masks to be worn indoors at all times, which included Berean Baptist Christian School, CJ’s Lounge, Toni’s of Winnebago.

At a press conference on Monday, Winnebago County Health Department Director Dr. Sandra Martell said code enforcement officers have been going to locations that have had complaints against them for violation of the executive order.

She said complaints of violations of businesses not following the face mask requirement continue to be received and logged by the county’s COVID-19 hotline.

The three entities have been officially notified of their status of non-compliance, Martell said. If they continue to receive complaints, a second offense will result in an official notice to close. If the businesses does not comply, then the county will conduct a hearing to force the business to close.

Martell also said most schools in the region have had COVID-19 cases, but the schools have worked to make sure transmission is not taking place in the school.

“We cannot afford to have transmission in the schools,” she said at a press conference on Monday, saying that if any staff or students have symptoms of coronavirus, they will be sent home.

Martell said the health department will take a tactical and strategic and look at transmission in schools so that one school may have different response than others, and counties can have different responses than others too.

Martell said most transmission occurs outside the school, and said the area has seen many new cases due to Labor Day activities, blaming parties, family gatherings, traveling teams and sports. “While schools work hard, they need the community to work as well on other activities,” Martell said.

Officials announced 40 new cases of coronavirus since Friday, bringing the county’s total to 4,794 with a positivity rate of 6.8%.

Gov. Pritzker has said a testing positivity rate above 8% in one of Illinois coronavirus regions, of which Winnebago is in Region 1, would bring extra restrictions. The Metro East Region 4 and Region 7, consisting of Will and Kankakee counties, are currently under those extra mitigation.

Martell also said the WCHD has partnered with the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy to plan on researching current vaccines which are in development, to come up with a strategy to distribute once one becomes available.

The plan is due to be finalized by October 31st.

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