In less than 48 hours, suburban counties will be under another round of COVID restrictions, including no more indoor dining. However, some restaurants are refusing to take the order.
Owners of bars and restaurants are calling this another setback during this pandemic, while the governor warns that state police are watching.
Bars and restaurants in Will and Kankakee Counties have been forced to shut down indoor service three times during the stay-at-home order and twice for increasing COVID-19 metrics.
Rick Thayer owns a deli in Joliet, which he reopened early in defiance of Gov. Pritzker’s order last month.
“I’ve talked to several businesses in the area and that seems to be the consensus. We are not going to shut down,” said Thayer.
The owner of Gina’s Teardrop Cafe in New Lenox writes on Facebook their dining room will remain open.
“This was not an easy decision to make, but one we are making out of survival and to help our staff pay their bills,” the owner said.
Ki's Steak and Seafood in Glendale Heights is also staying open, posting, “We are standing up for our freedom and calling Governor Pritzer a dictator.”
In agreement, State Rep. Darren Bailey is once again calling out the governor and his decisions.
“There is no proof that businesses are spreading COVID,” said Rep. Bailey.
The governor’s office released data showing contact tracing suggests those infected with the virus reported visiting bars and restaurants more so than any other activity.
Gov. Pritzker says the state will be watching for violators.
“The state police is now alerted to be on patrol in those regions,” said Pritzker.
The governor says state troopers will ask people to disperse, give warnings and can even issue citations.
According to DuPage County, 79 percent of COVID cases have been connected to long-term healthcare facilities since March.
In the first two weeks of October, 22 percent of cases were tied to restaurants.