* Brenden Moore at the SJ-R…
The Springfield Police Department has issued a cease-and-desist notice to a local restaurant that opened for dine-in service in defiance of Gov. JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home order. […]
[Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow] said law enforcement often gets caught in the middle when seeking to enforce orders while understanding the struggle people are going through.
“We all empathize with the small business and the struggles that they are going through right now,” Winslow said. “But on the other hand, how do you treat somebody different from those who are compliant and doing the right thing versus somebody who’s openly defiant? … We get caught in the middle … we’ve gotten called by employees. … We’ve gotten calls by competitors. We’ve gotten called by the state. So everybody has an opinion on this … and again, we’re not the jury on these. We’re not the judge on these. We simply just forward that information to the appropriate (agencies) and they can take whatever enforcement action they choose to take.”
Emphasis added because this is something that’s often lost in the media circus surrounding the violators. Law-abiding competitors are often the ones lodging complaints.
* Meanwhile, this is from that NPR story we discussed yesterday…
Eating indoors at a restaurant: medium to high risk
Indoor dining “is still amongst the riskier things you can do,” [Dr. Emily Landon, a hospital epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist at University of Chicago Medicine] warns. The trouble is, says [Dr. William Miller, an epidemiologist at Ohio State University], “people tend to linger in restaurants. So even if spacing is OK, the duration of exposure is longer.” Also, he says, talking “appears to lead to some release of the virus.”
[Dr. Abraar Karan, a physician and public health researcher at Harvard Medical School] notes that one outbreak in Guangzhou, China, took place in a restaurant with no windows and poor ventilation, and the air conditioning appears to have blown droplets between tables.
What alters risk? [Dr. Andrew Janowski, a pediatric infectious diseases expert at Washington University in St. Louis] says the risk level depends on how well the restaurant has adapted for the pandemic. Eateries should reduce and space out seating, require servers to wear masks and offer easy access to hand-washing stations.
They should also provide single-use options for condiments so you don’t have to touch shared ones, says Janowski. And they should close all self-serve areas like soda fountains or buffet tables.
If you do go to a restaurant, look for outdoor seating. Landon says she would go with only members of her household, because “I don’t want to have to take my mask off in the close proximity of a bunch of other people.”
* The Question: Do you plan to eat outdoors at a restaurant after your region enters Phase 3 (most likely this Friday)? Explain.