SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Bars and restaurants in suburbs surrounding Chicago will no longer be allowed to serve customers indoors starting this Friday Governor Pritzker announced on Tuesday afternoon, citing rising rates of Coronavirus infection and hospitalization.
“All the studies that have been done about bars show that these are significant spreading locations,” Pritzker said.
The new closure orders in DuPage, Kane, Kankakee and Will Counties mirror Covid-19 mitigations already in place in ‘Region One‘ in Northwest Illinois, and collectively represent the state’s widest restrictions since the state relaxed the rules to ‘Phase Four’ back in June.
Additional restrictions in those regions include capacity limits at 25 people for social gatherings and an 11 p.m. curfew for casinos or bars and restaurants that seat customers outdoors.
Noting a statewide rise in infections and positivity rates, Pritzker resumed holding daily Coronavirus press briefings on Tuesday, in part, to spread a message he fears isn’t resonating with rural parts of the state.
“There are a lot of people that have resisted because they didn’t know anybody who had COVID, they didn’t know anybody who got sick from Covid-19,” Pritzker said.
“Back in March and April, I think there were many people who live in rural areas of the state who didn’t see many cases, didn’t see many people getting sick, and they looked at Chicago and Cook County and the collar counties and said, ‘that’s a problem for them. That’s not our problem. We don’t need to change our lives.’
“And so for several months, there were people that resisted wearing masks, that weren’t really listening because it wasn’t affecting them directly in their communities,” he said.
“That situation, to some degree, has reversed: that is to say that Chicago has one of the lower positivity rates in the state, and it’s the rural areas of the state that have the highest positivity rates.”