Madison County slammed with new COVID-19 restrictions

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MADISON COUNTY, Ill. – Madison County was among the Illinois counties in the metro-east slammed with new restrictions this week due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

Among the changes, indoor dining at bars and restaurants is no longer allowed. People may only enjoy bars and restaurants outdoors. They are also operating at 25 percent capacity.

It’s a big hit to businesses that were just trying to get on their feet when the restrictions were eased. Now many feel like they’re back to square one.

Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler, the highest-ranking official in the county, is concerned about the county’s ability to reach the goal set for them by the state.

The restrictions are supposed to last for 14 days. That’s if the county achieves a dramatic drop in the number of positivity cases. That’s the number of people who test positive out of the number of people tested.

Hitting the mark set by the state is not going to be easy. As of Friday night, the positivity rate is at 11 in Madison County. They have to get down to 6.5.

At the Foundry Public House Bar in Edwardsville, owner Jason Armbruster said business was off 60 percent. He said they’re hanging on now because they have a lot of patio space, but he fears an even bigger loss if the restrictions aren’t lifted by the time the weather gets cold.

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