Once again, restaurants and bars in Region 1 are being challenged by another mitigation order by Governor JB Pritzker. Another order to close or limit indoor dining will challenge the very existence of smaller businesses.
In a recent media interview, DeKalb County Health Department Administrator Lisa Gonzalez said that interviews with COVID-19 patients confirmed that a common thread of all testing positive was restaurants and bars. DCO sent a request to find what other common threads through tracing to Gonzalez but have not received an answer (also via a phone request). In the two weeks prior to becoming positive people must have visited more than restaurants and bars (ie: grocery stores, drug stores, beauty shops, clothing stores, etc.).
Gonzalez also said that restaurants and bars are part of the top three locations that people get COVID-19. DCO requested what were the other two locations but again received no answer. It is a shame that public officials do not respond to information requests or only provide select information.
DeKalb County Chairman Mark Pietrowski is also calling for stricter enforcement of Pritzker’s mitigation to be handed down to local restaurants and bars for not obeying the mandate. DCO has reached out to Pietrowski but has not received a return call or e-mail.
In a phone interview with State Representative Jeff Keicher regarding these issues, Keicher feels the Governor is pushing his own agenda without support from elected state officials. “I have asked the Governor and State Health Department for more detailed information as these mitigations are affecting many small and medium businesses in Region 1 as well as DeKalb County,” said Keicher. “Restaurant and bars are being singled out and these businesses still provide jobs and taxes, and now be limited to what they can do.”
Several restaurant and bar owners are taking legal actions against the Governor. The State of Illinois Restaurant Association is preparing a class-action lawsuit against the State and Governor of Illinois. From many sources, COVID-19 is being spread by social and family gatherings.