State’s Attorney office gives stance on reopening of businesses during pandemic


PIATT COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Piatt County State’s Attorney Dana Rhoades said her office has no intention to file criminal charges against local businesses and churches that want to reopen.

In a release, Rhoades said her office will not file the charges as long as social distancing measures are followed like using face coverings and disinfecting as set by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

She warned establishment owners that the decision to reopen does come with risks of liability and licensure revocation and urges businesses/churches to seek legal counsel. Those risks include COVID-19 liability claims might be denied under insurance exclusions if a business is operating in violation of the governor’s executive order and health organization guidelines. Other risks include employees being excluded from the Worker’s Compensation Exclusive Remedy Rule and other liability issues.

Rhoades said establishments that reopen are required to implement/enforce social distancing, face coverings and other safety measures. Failure to do so may result in “liability, licensure revocation and other consequences.” She continued to say her office will “exercise its discretion to enforce reckless conduct violations and seek cease and desist orders when appropriate.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.