At face value, reopening of businesses poses a potential threat of increased spread of COVID-19. The manager of the Ellwood Steak and Fish House, 2219 Sycamore Road, is being very responsible under the state guidelines and is content with 25% capacity which is the safe option given the circumstances.
Other businesses have remarked that most of their business is delivery or pick-up, despite new mitigations. The owner of Pizza Villa, John Finn, attributes the limited amount of people eating in the restaurant to fewer people going out because of COVID-19 risks and having less places to go. That is an interesting angle to approach the story from because oftentimes people don’t just go out to eat. People tend to go out to eat on special occasions and when they are already out of the house, so the reduced activity even with fewer restrictions on restaurants will cause more limited in person business. Pizza Villa, 824 W. Lincoln Highway, has a similar number of delivery orders which constitutes two-thirds of their business, so they are doing well considering the difficult circumstances COVID-19 has put on restaurants.
The DeKalb community seems to have responded well to the entry into phase 4 with restaurant owners acting responsibly as well as customers supporting these local businesses through this difficult time. This doesn’t mean that things should get complacent. Good actions now will not make individuals immune to the virus if careless actions are taken later. Limited in-person contact at these restaurants is at a more acceptable level and should not get less limited until the vaccine is widely available.
Other parts of Illinois are still in earlier phases, so if traveling, be sure to check the regulations for a particular region at Restore Illinois. The tiers also function regionally rather than for all of Illinois . For more information on how the tiers impact operations look at Restore Illinois Mitigation plan.