ILLINOIS (WFIE) - Illinois Governor JB Pritzker gave his COVID-19 update Thursday.
Like many leaders, Gov. Pritzker is urging people to stay home when they can and not to hold Thanksgiving gatherings.
On Friday, new restrictions will be in place in Illinois to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
With tighter COVID-19 restrictions, business owners in Mount Carmel are frustrated as the Governor’s Tier 3 mitigation plans will only allow bars and restaurants to continue serving customers outdoors, pickup and delivery.
“It has slowed down some on our dining room and that hurts not being able to have that,” Kelly Savage, the owner of Kelly O’s Pizza said. “We were on track to have one of our best years we’ve ever had. Then we ended up having an employee having a case and it slowed down after that, never has really got back to what it was.”
The Wabash County Health Department says these restrictions are necessary after seeing a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
Gov. Pritzker’s Tier 3 mitigation plan will include 25% capacity for health and fitness centers, 10-person gathering limits for outdoor sports and recreation, personal care services like hair and nail salons being limited to 25% capacity, as well as bars and restaurants continuing to only serving outdoors, pickup and delivery only.
“We’ve heard on both sides on the fence, some people are not even abiding by the current mitigations that are in place so we have that issue,” Judy Wissel, an administrator with the Wabash County Health Department said.
However, Savage feels the restrictions are unfair.
Savage says he believes every business owner should be the one’s deciding if customers can come inside to dine and even wear masks.
“I think we really need to let each person what they want to do and not up to the government,” Savage said. “I think we should have our own say so.”
Meanwhile, in Mt. Carmel, another Italian restaurant telling us they have been making it work for months. Little Italy closed their dining room in March and has kept it that way ever since.
Owner, Kevin List said, “What we did, is we converted immediately to curbside, we had never done that. We had been the small dining room, carry out and delivery. It’s been a big hit and it’s actually here to stay.
Health department officials say if not compliant, businesses will be penalized.
The Health Department says its first line of defense is education and then a cease and desist order.
If businesses still will not comply, health officials say it will contact Illinois State Police.
We also spoke with the owner of Little Italy in Mt. Carmel Friday morning about the changes he’s had to make since the pandemic began.
You can watch that full interview in the video below.
On Thursday, Illinois health officials reported 14,612 new coronavirus cases and 164 new deaths.
Illinois now has at least 621,383 total positive COVID-19 cases and 11,178 deaths statewide.
The map shows two new COVID-19 related deaths in Wabash County and one in both Wayne and White Counties.
Here are the total number of coronavirus cases and deaths reported in our area:
- Wayne County - 769 cases, 29 deaths
- White County - 474 cases, 8 deaths
- Wabash County - 424 cases, 8 deaths
- Edwards County - 185 cases, 3 deaths