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Health Department Issues Guidance for Restaurants/Bars Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak
May 26, 2020

Persuant to powers granted the Governor in Sections 7(1), 7(8), and 7(12) of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act found in Section 20 Illinois Compile Statutes Subsection 3305, on Sunday March 15, 2020, Governor Pritzker issued an Executive Order that requires the temporary suspension of dine-in service for all bars and restaurants located in the State of Illinois between the dates of March 17th and March 30th with the possibility of an extension dependent upon the nature of the virus at the time of expiration. Similar to the Executive Order issued at the end of last week requiring the temporary cancellation of all public and private schools, this Order is an attempt to limit the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus through social distancing measures. This is an unfortunate circumstance and the DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department will continue to cooperate and offer guidance to all food service establishments within our jurisdiction in an attempt to ensure limited food and profit loss resulting from this mandate.

As previously mentioned, this Executive Order applies to dine-in services only and does not require most businesses to cease full operations at the time it becomes effective. Beginning on the March 17th, it is permissible for food service establishments to distribute food in the following manner:

  1. Delivery Service
  2. Curbside Service
  3. Drive-Thru Service

If a facility provides only dine-in service or in-house drink service, it will be required to cease full operation until the expiration of this mandate. Depending upon feasibility, the health department is willing to offer guidance to those seeking alternate forms of food service operations.

During this time, it is important that you continue to exercise leniency in absenteeism for employees who report illness or exhibit flu-like symptoms.

Once again, we are aware that this is an unfortunate circumstance and we are willing to provide any clarification or assistance to ensure the continued success of small businesses within our communities. Nevertheless, we must enforce the Governor’s Executive Order and mandate closure of all restaurants and bars to DINE IN customers.  We will work with our local State’s Attorneys offices to ensure these orders are enforced with all permitted establishments.

I encourage you to follow our agency on Facebook for updates regarding this requirement

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