Metro East businesses brace for restrictions as Illinois sets single-day COVID cases record

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METRO EAST, Ill. – The state of Illinois reported a single-day record of more than 6,000 new cases of coronavirus Saturday. The numbers are reflective of a trend that will soon lead to the return of restrictions in the Metro East.

Tavern on Main owner Mark Onstott expects indoor dining to be prohibited beginning Wednesday. Some customers were enjoying indoor dining on Saturday before the new restrictions are expected to go in place.

“This is going to be tough,” said Onstott.

He said business has been good this summer and fall because the weather has been mild.  Customers have filled the tables on his large patio area, but the future is not so rosy. Colder temperatures and the expected dining room restrictions will be a big hit. Onstott worries about the toll this will take on workers he can’t keep employed during the winter months.

“We usually have 50 holiday parties booked but we don’t have any,” said Onstott. He hopes everyone will do what they can to slow down the spread of COVID. 

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