Illinois Gov. Pritzker threatens to use state police against businesses reopening early

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ALTON, Ill – Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is threatening to use local law enforcement and state police against businesses that reopen in defiance of his policies.

The governor gave the stern warning on the same day Madison County officials have gone against the governor’s public health orders and started to reopen.

During Gov. Pritzker’s daily briefing, he had this message for leaders who want to reopen early.

“There is no consequence the state could impose that is greater than the harm that you will do to your own community,” Pritzker said. “192 Illinoisans lost their lives to this virus in the past 24 hours. How is that not real to you?”

Under Gov. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan, nail shops like the one FOX2 found open in Edwardsville today, shouldn’t be open until at least May 29th.

It is even later for a sub shop that was open in Madison County today. The state’s plan says that shouldn’t have dine-in customers again until mid-June at the earliest.

Those reopenings come after the Madison County board of health voted overwhelmingly to allow salons, gyms, restaurants, bars, and churches, to re-open in phases right away with restrictions on capacity, recommendations for continued mask-wearing, social distancing, and routine dis-infecting. 

Parts of the re-opening plan for Madison County include:

  • People must avoid gatherings of more than ten people
  • Restaurants and bars are limited to 25% capacity
  • Gyms are limited to 25% capacity
  • Churches are limited to 50% capacity
  • There are no restrictions at nail and hair salons other than social distancing

We checked multiple restaurants, gyms, and salons – but found just the one opening today.  Customers certainly don’t feel like criminals but the governor is coming down hard.

The governor pointed to 192 more deaths from COVID-19 in the state in just the past 24 hours.  To date, Madison County has reported 446 total cases and 33 deaths.  Officials say at least 20 of those have been in nursing homes.

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