On October 22, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced additional mitigations for Region 1.
State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) issued the following statement criticizing their actions:
“The overreaching restrictions IDPH placed on Region 1 weeks ago targeted restaurants and bars, and the end result was it did nothing to decrease the positivity rates in the area. In fact, while business owners lost revenue and employees’ jobs were put at risk due to the new restrictions, positivity rates actually went up.
IDPH’s own data shows that restaurants and bars are not the major problem. However, they are most easily controlled. Meanwhile, huge companies, like Amazon who have had thousands of cases, have no actions being taken against their operations. Restaurants and bars have gone out of their way to make their businesses safe for their patrons. If a business owner is not following the rules, then the health department should deal with that specific facility instead of punishing all restaurants in northern Illinois.
I appreciate the Governor’s desire to keep Illinois residents safe, but I believe he's getting bad advice from people who are addressing this issue with theories rather than common sense and science. The state needs to rethink its mitigation plan to focus on protecting those at risk and holding those who are violating the rules accountable. In the meantime, the rest of the region shouldn’t be pulled backwards.”