SPRINGFIELFD, Ill. – Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued new guidelines for bars and restaurants today to help slow the spread of COVID-19 cases.
Starting on August 26, guests at bars and restaurants will have to wear a mask while interacting with wait staff, food service workers, and other employees at bars and restaurants.
Currently, guests are required to wear a mask on the premise, except while eating and drinking at a table or bar. Now, it will include while patrons are seated.
That will also include people picking up orders at restaurants and when food is being delivered to tables.
The guidelines will also apply to outdoor dining, indoor recreational facilities, museums, and entertainment venues.
Nine of the 11 Illinois health regions are under phase 4 Restore Illinois regulations. That means bars and restaurants can be open with capacity restrictions, parties of 10 or less, tables spaced -feet apart, and limited standing area.
Region 4 which includes the Metro East is operating under increased mitigations following a sharp increase in COVID-19 positivity rates.
Gov. Pritzker also announced Region 7, which include Will and Kanakee Counties in Northern Illinois, will also have additional mitigation measures in place because of an increase in COVID cases.
“The Metro East continues to struggle with high infections,” said Pritzker.
Gov. Pritzker warned the Metro East may also see more restrictions if its positivity rate doesn’t come down. He said the positivity rate has been above 8% for the last 11 days. As of Tuesday, it was at 9.4%.
He said September 2 will be the end of the Metro East region’s 14-day monitoring period. Health officials will then assess the next step for the area.
As of Tuesday, Aug. 25, Illinois is reporting 223,470 confirmed cases and 7,917 deaths.
Full guidelines can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health website.