Facial covering requirements got tougher in Illinois today.
Governor J.B. Pritzker announced today a new mandate for the wearing of facial coverings in bars and restaurants in Illinois. Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, August 25th, patrons must wear a mask during any interaction with wait staff, food service workers and other employees at bars and restaurants, at both indoor and outdoor facilities.
Pritzker says with numbers rising across the state, the new requirements are aimed at protecting both patrons and employees.
“Customers must follow this rule when food and beverages are brought to the table, when orders are placed, and when picking up carry out orders. This new requirement asks a little bit more of our residents dining out, in order to protect their health and safety and that of our front line hospitality workers”
Pritzker says the guidance will also apply to other facilities with food services areas that are currently subject to the Restore Illinois guidance, such as indoor recreational facilities, museums and entertainment venues.
Pritzker says to assist bars and restaurants with implementing the new safety measures, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is providing updated signage and revised health guidance materials via their website at dceocovid19resources.com.
Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, Dr. Ngoze Ezike says going out for food and drinks should not be an excuse for letting your guard down in fight against COVID-19. She says face coverings must be fully worn over the nose and mouth.
“Stop wearing your face masks incorrectly. You are literally contributing to infection transmission by doing so. And by contributing to infection transmission, potentially to an additional life that will be lost.
To the people who say that face coverings don’t work, you are simply wrong. It doesn’t matter what video you saw on the internet or the fake headline you read, please know that face coverings do save lives. But they must be used in conjunction with social distancing and hand washing.”
Pritzker made the announcement while speaking in Will County to discuss stronger mitigation that are to take effect Wednesday in Region 7 in response to continuing increased cases of COVID-19 putting both Will and Kankakee County’s in the warning zone.
Pritzker also says Region 4 which encompasses the the Metro East Area just across the river from St. Louis, is on pace to reach a positivity rate of 10% and may face even further restrictions if the trend continues.