Rep. McDermed Reacts to Announcement of COVID-19 Mitigation Steps for Will and Kankakee Counties

Governor JB Pritzker announced on Monday that Illinois Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee Counties, will implement COVID-19 mitigation strategies beginning Wednesday, August 26. Mitigation actions will last for a minimum of 14 days, and include:

Bars
No indoor service; all outside bar service closes at 11:00pm; all bar patrons should be seated at tables outside; no ordering, seating, or congregating at the bar (bar stools should be removed); tables should be six feet apart; no standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting; no dancing or standing indoors; reservations required for each party; no seating of multiple parties at one table

Restaurants
No indoor dining or bar service; all outdoor dining closes at 11:00pm; outside dining tables should be six feet apart; no standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting; reservations required for each party; no seating of multiple parties at one table

Meetings, Social Events, Gatherings
Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity; no party buses; gaming and casinos close at 11:00pm, are limited to 25% capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants (if applicable)

The mitigation steps were triggered when the region’s COVID-19 positivity rate exceeded 8% for more than three consecutive days. In response to the announcement, State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) issued the following statement:

“Whether you disagree or agree with Governor’s rules, he is the one with the power right now while the courts consider the constitutionality of his executive orders. Like it or not, failure to follow his rules have consequences that extend beyond any one individual.

“Lawmakers asked what was driving the increase in positivity rates in Region 7, and we were told the spike is coming mostly from the 20-29 age group. Evidently, the uptick is the result of large gatherings, including several ‘proms’ organized in communities, travel to COVID hot spots, and people not practicing social distancing at bars.

“This retreat from reopening our local economy demonstrates that the fate of area businesses is directly related to our personal behaviors, regardless of age. I would encourage everyone to consider how their choices impact our entire community, especially business owners, who are just now beginning to recover and are struggling to stay afloat during this health crisis.”