The city of Peoria says it will abide by the new restrictions on bars and restaurants announced by Gov. J.B. Pritkzer as a COVID-19 mitigation measure as cases surge to new heights in the region.
Pritzker announced the restrictions on restaurants, bars, and gathering sizes on Sunday after Region 2, which includes Peoria, Pekin, Canton, and Galesburg, posted a rolling COVID positivity rate over 8% for the third consecutive day.
“We recognize that some people in our community feel that these new mitigations are unreasonable, but we encourage all our residents to do their part,” said City Manager Patrick Urich in prepared remarks on Monday evening. “If we take the guidance now to help protect each other and businesses, then hopefully we will see case counts decline, which could indicate that we would be done with these restrictions for now.”
Restrictions could be eased if the region posts a rolling positivity rate of 6.5% or less for three days.
The mayors of East Peoria, Washburn, and Princeton are among the elected officials in Region 2 who say they will not enforce the governor's newest order. But Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said neither he nor any other mayor has the power to override the governor's executive actions.
"We shouldn't give businesses a false sense of security that the State won't come in and enforce the Governor's EO and potentially revoke their liquor and gaming licenses.” Ardis said in prepared remarks. "We must encourage our community to do their part to not overburden our hospital capacity. With that said, the City of Peoria Police don't have the resources to actively enforce the Governor's EO as a priority over crime.”
The regional COVID-19 positivity rate was 9.7%, as of Oct. 30, the most recent day for which data is currently available.
The city of Peoria and the Peoria City/County Health Department plan to continue responding to violations of the COVID-19 guidelines on a complaint-driven basis.
City leadership is urging businesses to follow the guidelines released by the Illinois Department of Public Health, including mask-wearing, social distancing, and frequent handwashing.
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