Bars, Restaurants Across Illinois To Defy Pritzker’s New Restrictions

ILLINOIS — Some restaurants, bars and other businesses are less receptive to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s latest COVID-19 restrictions as new cases increase across the state and the governor puts new rules in place to reduce the spread of the virus.

Pritzker announced earlier this week that Marion, Jefferson, Wayne, Edwards, Wabash, Perry, Jackson, Franklin, Williamson, Saline, Hamilton, White, Gallatin, Union, Johnson, Pope, Hardin, Alexander, Massac, Pulaski Will, Kankakee, Kane and DuPage counties would see indoor dining shut down along with other restrictions.

“While we continue to see a safer pandemic landscape than back in the Spring – in terms of positivity, hospital capacity, and community spread – and safer than much of the Midwest, things have changed,” Pritzker said Monday. “Every region of the state has started to move in the wrong direction. Cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths are rising statewide. Experts have predicted for months that the country could see a resurgence of the virus as temperatures get colder and more people spend more time inside. Here in Illinois, it looks like a new wave could be upon us.”

The announcement spurred dozens of restaurants and bars across Illinois to announce they would not be complying.

A Facebook page devoted to listing businesses that would defy Pritzker’s orders identified dozens of businesses that announced they would remain open.

“We have customers that come in and support us,” said Chris Dillman, a manager at Huddle House, a diner in Metropolis. “They’ve told us that, if we stayed open, they would support us.”

During the first shutdown, the restaurant closed its indoor dining area and continued to offer takeout options.

Dillman said the restaurant’s owner considered the livelihoods of his employees.

“We’ve got single moms here that work hard to take care of their children,” he said. “If it spiked and it was a matter of public safety then we absolutely wouldn’t do it. Our owner is a great guy. He just wants to see everybody do well in life.”

Pritzker said Wednesday that he would send the Illinois State Police to the regions where restaurants and bars are to be closed to indoor dining to look for businesses that were defying his orders.

The governor’s office released contact tracing data on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020.

The Center Square – Cole Lauterbach

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