WCHD clarifies 25-person indoor dining as only for ‘special events’


WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WTVO) — On Tuesday, Winnebago County 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, Health Director Dr. Sandra Martell announced that up to 25 people would be allowed in bars and restaurants for 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.”

Last week, Neighbor’s Bar and Grill, Fozzy’s Bar and Grill, and Doc’s Diner were all given Order of Closures by the WCHD. Latham Tap West Bar and Grill and Golden Corral in Rockford were given closure orders on Monday.

Guidelines for indoor dining are as follows:

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

Click here for the full statement.


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