Illinois State Police detail how they will enforce COVID mitigation

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill.- Illinois is reporting 6,110 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday. That comes just days after the state reported 6,161 cases over the weekend. There are also 51 additional deaths

The new figures come as positivity rates rise across the state. Wednesday is the beginning of stricter mitigation for Region 4 which includes several Metro East counties.

By the weekend, eight of the state’s 11 health regions will face stricter mitigations.

Gov. Pritzker asked the Illinois State Police (ISP) director to attend today’s briefing to discuss how the department will help enforce the mitigation guidelines.

Gov. Pritzker said the responsible business owners in the state rely upon local leaders to enforce public health guidance and hold bad actors responsible.

“There are plenty of local officials setting a bad example, refusing to believe the science and misleading their constituents,” said Gov. Pritzker.

He went on to say it will be harder to get children back to school and reopen businesses if they are ignoring the science, not encouraging mask-wearing, or hosting gatherings that can turn into super spreading events. 

Brendan Kelly, director of ISP, says his department has issued 4 citations but voluntary compliance has always been the focus.

“Let me be clear, no one is arrested. The governor and no one in law enforcement has ever suggested that as a possibility. In the circumstance where a misdemeanor citation has been issued, it is where emergency rules have been openly violated by waitstaff, cooks, business owners, and others refusing to respect or follow these basic safety measures,” explained Kelly.

Kelly said first a business would get a verbal warning, then a written warning and a citation would be the last resort.

He said his department has received complaints in 37 counties and after having a conversation with the business and educating them on guidelines they usually end with complaince.

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