Indoor bar, restaurant service to close in ‘Region 6’ effective Monday

Coronavirus

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Officials at the Illinois Department of Public Health notified state lawmakers the Pritzker administration plans to order bars and restaurants in Region 6 to close indoor service effective Monday morning, according to sources briefed on a Friday morning Coronavirus update call.

Regional public health data is typically updated on the state’s website around noon, but recent trends have shown rising rates in the number of patients testing positive and getting sick enough to be hospitalized with COVID-19.

In recent weeks, IDPH stopped counting Coronavirus tests conducted on campus at the University of Illinois and separated those results from the rest of Region 6.

“They are doing so much repetitive surveillance testing just at the U of I that if you include the U of I in the region’s test positivity rate, their positivity rate is much lower,” Pritzker’s press secretary Jordan Abudayyeh explained Friday morning. “So it’s masking what the real problems are, because they’re testing the same people multiple times a week in very large numbers, so it’s watering down what’s actually happening in the county and in the region.”

The public health region includes Champaign, Decatur, Danville, and stretches down to Clay County, where a local judge has declared the Governor’s continuing use of emergency powers as an overstep of his constitutional authorities.

Asked how that pending case could alter the state’s enforcement in Clay County, Abudayyeh said, “We’re not doing anything different than what we’ve been doing in other places. It will just be enforced the way it’s enforced.”

On Wednesday, state police announced officers have issued a total of four citations to businesses in Bond, Madison, Macoupin and Monroe Counties, who defied the state’s Coronavirus restrictions. Fines for defying the state’s orders could cost a business up to $2,500, but Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly stressed that no one will be arrested.

Region 3 is bracing for a similar shutdown starting on Sunday. A Thursday press release from the Pritzker administration outlined the new restrictions, which are largely enforced by local law enforcement and state police.

Bars 

  • No indoor service 
  • All outside bar service closes at 11:00 p.m. 
  • All bar patrons should be seated at tables outside 
  • No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)  
  • Tables should be 6 feet apart  
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting 
  • No dancing or standing indoors 
  • Reservations required for each party 
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table 

Restaurants 

  • No indoor dining or bar service 
  • All outdoor dining closes at 11:00 p.m. 
  • Outside dining tables should be 6 feet apart 
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting 
  • Reservations required for each party  
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table 

Meetings, Social Events, Gatherings 

  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25 percent of overall room capacity 
  • No party buses 
  • Gaming and Casinos close at 11:00 p.m., are limited to 25 percent capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable 

These mitigations do not apply to schools or polling places.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.