Whiteside Co. Health Dept. CEO, service workers react to new restrictions

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced new restrictions for nine Illinois counties due to high COVID positivity rate
Published: Oct. 24, 2020 at 10:38 PM CDT
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WHITESIDE CO., Ill. (KWQC) - Beginning October 25, Illinois' region one which includes Whiteside county along with eight others will see new COVID-19 restrictions due to a high positivity rate of 12.2%, well above the Illinois Dept. of Public Health’s recommended level of 8% or less. These restrictions include earlier closing times for bars and capacity limits of 25% capacity or 25 people.

Along with the news the Whiteside Co. Health Dept. is holding a drive-through testing site on October 24 and 25th.

Whiteside Co. Health Dept. CEO Cheryl Lee said that the rise is mainly due to what people are doing in their private lives.

“What you’re doing in your private life is really impacting the public and it takes a community effort to get through this," said Lee.

She’s also worried about the toll it could take on hospitals.

“It’s concerning because we don’t want to tax our healthcare system when they’re dealing with other issues going into their facilities," said Lee, “And just to keep in mind with a hospital, if they have people get sick there or not so much sick if they’re in direct contact they’re quarantining staff for 14 days and we’re taking them out of the healthcare workforce.”

The toll is already being felt by the service industry, Lucky Lucy Bartender Travis Lane said because of a lack of outdoor seating, they aren’t allowed to serve customers any form of drinks.

“They want to come, when I say that we’re not serving, then they go somewhere else," said Lane.

Lane’s also hoping that Governor Pritzker changes his mind on the restrictions.

“I hope that he (Pritzker) changes his mind or that the numbers would go down so that we can stay here," said Lane.

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