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*** UPDATED x1 *** Was reopening bars a mistake?

Monday, Jun 29, 2020

* Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday took his most drastic action yet to respond to the post-reopening coronavirus surge in Texas, shutting bars back down and scaling back restaurant capacity to 50%.

* Block Club Chicago

Bars across Chicago reopened this weekend — and people in Wrigleyville lined up to celebrate.

On Saturday night, Clark Street felt and looked much like it did on a normal summer night before coronavirus upended the city, though social distancing and new guidelines are part of the new normal. As patrons bounced from bar to bar in packs, some donned face masks. Many did not.

Crowds waited in long lines with little to no adherence to the 6-feet social distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some people said they do have worries about the pandemic and are concerned they’re part of the problem as cases rise throughout the country — but others said they’re young and wanted to get out during the summer.

* Springfield…


Would be nice to see some coverage of this topic in the SJ-R. Just sayin…

* Back to Texas…


I’m hearing that Illinois bar owners might soon be getting a letter warning them that they’ll all be shut down again if they don’t start enforcing the rules.

Thoughts?

*** UPDATE *** New Jersey…


- Posted by Rich Miller        

74 Comments »
  1. - Abby Normal - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:45 pm:

    Yes, it was. I’m not going to a bar until there is a vaccine.


  2. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:50 pm:

    I’ve not missed going to bars as much as I thought I would. Probably won’t be going back until Phase 5.


  3. - Stormfield - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:54 pm:

    Looks like much too soon, and evident many people are not taking precautions seriously. Bar rules are going to be tough to enforce.

    Hard for me to argue that opening bars is worth the risk, but then again I’m not young and trying to get out in the summer. I’m definitely out going to bars for now.


  4. - iggy - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:54 pm:

    yes.

    went to a outdoor bar in phase 3, everyone did the social distancing, and it felt like everyone was taking this seriously.

    this weekend, in dundee, at the same bar. seas of people, everyone under 30. the spike is coming in 2 weeks.

    I am worried how people will react, JB put us through the strictest lock down in the United States. it’s not like Texas who is walking back opening currently. They never had to go through the harsh lock down we had here. so in 2 weeks when illinois cases with young people are up, and JB demands we go back, I don’t think people will.

    we are in for a bumpy ride.

    please continue to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible, it does matter that we all pull in one direction.


  5. - CommonSense312 - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:54 pm:

    Not just bars, any establishment that allows for many people indoors in close contact. I think this applies to offices, churches, restaurants, salons, etc. We should have stayed in Phase 3 longer.


  6. - Huh? - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:55 pm:

    Yes. The bars in my town don’t enforce any social distancing. Evidence from other states points in the direction that bars are hot spots.


  7. - illinifan - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:57 pm:

    One bright spot, I finally went to a restaurant and dined outside. I asked if people were wanting to sit inside now that they can and the waitress said no. They are still asking to be outside. You can build it but it does not mean people will come.


  8. - fs - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:59 pm:

    No. Many were on the verge of having to shutter permanently, if they hadn’t already reached that point. These are people’s jobs and livelihoods. A vaccine could take years, we’re going to have to learn how to open our economy with safeguards. The consequences of not doing so could be as worse, or worse, than shuttering.


  9. - Amalia - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 12:59 pm:

    Jeez, Wrigleyville. the photo in the article is infuriating. mask it or casket.


  10. - Law Breaker - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:00 pm:

    Though technically illegal, we would all be much safer if people were hanging out with their friends drinking in the parks where breath and droplets can dissipate in the wind, and you’re not going to be crammed up against strangers.

    As long as we aggressively cracked down on littering and disruptive behavior, I would much rather those crowds be spread across various open spaces.


  11. - ChicagoBars - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:00 pm:

    Did extensive research yesterday, from Uncommon Ground in Edgewater (they require you to wear a mask whenever your server comes to your table - whch led to weirdly great service as servers just look for tables where customers were masked up), to Beck’s in West Lakeview to the Map Room in Bucktown staff were all masked up, hand sanitizer, disposable menus, and lots of seated social distance.

    But social media is going to magnify the visibility of any bar or restaurant that can’t (or won’t) enforce pretty basic Phase IV rules and the faster warning letters go out, especially with July 4 ahead the better.

    Now excuse me while I rest up to go glare at my two door down neighbor and their 3-4x a week mask free flip cup drinking game parties in their backyard.


  12. - Sox Fan - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:01 pm:

    While we may have opened bars too early, I still have confidence that Pritzker/Lightfoot will act quickly if the science dictates they should adjust their regulations.

    I also agree with abby and I am still hesitant to head to a bar/restaurant without a vaccine/treatment


  13. - Beecher - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:02 pm:

    If the liquor licenses of bars that fail to follow guidelines are not quickly pulled we will almost certainly see spikes in the virus.


  14. - Someone you Should Know - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:03 pm:

    I’m with many of the commenters here. I am just not ready to go out for a few pops at the corner pub yet. I don’t think we are ready. I am over here in Harbor Country in Michigan, and about 1/3 of the people at the store were unmasked.

    We got bored, stopped caring, and folks got sick.

    We can not have indoor congregation until folks realize that you have to wear the mask.

    Now act happens when the kids at the bars come back to work on Monday and infect the office.

    This will not end well.


  15. - Someone you Should Know - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:04 pm:

    Sorry to clarify, Grocery Store, my point was, if we can’t mask up when we buy our captain crunch, how will intoxicated folks mask up at the bars.


  16. - lake county democrat - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:05 pm:

    A reluctant yes - maybe if they had read the riot act to bars that if they didn’t enforce social distancing rules they risked being closed, and then actually closing a few of them. Instead this looks a lot like St. Patrick’s Day when some (I don’t know what percentage) places forced Lightfoot’s hand leading to closures a day or two later. Meanwhile there’s mounting evidence from other states with spikes that bars are among the prime culprits. I suspect bars are especially bad because they’re so loud - people have to talk louder (more droplets) and closer to each other in order to communicate.


  17. - ChicagoBars - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:07 pm:

    Almost forgot, but point of order that I already sent to Block Club:

    “Bars across Chicago reopened this weekend”

    Every place mentioned in their story has been open for outdoor dining since early June because they have outdoor space and a City food license. Most aren’t even tavern (bar) licenses.


  18. - Pundent - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:14 pm:

    Wrigleyviile bars are heavily populated by patrons under 30 which also happens to be the group that thinks they’re invincible. What played out over the weekend was predictable and the city should have stepped up enforcement. I say follow the rules or lose your license for 48 hours second or third offense kicks it up to 30 days. Why should establishments that follow the rules have to pay the price for those that don’t. That’s where we’re headed.


  19. - Wylie Coyote - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:15 pm:

    ==I’m with many of the commenters here. I am just not ready to go out for a few pops at the corner pub yet. I don’t think we are ready.==
    I did go to Corner Pub in Springfield last week and there was more than ample social distancing and proper sanitation protocol. As I look forward, if their precautions won’t stop the spread then nothing will.


  20. - Hieronymus - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:23 pm:

    It’s bad enough to get caught between unmasked people at the grocery checkout line or dodging them in the aisles.

    No vaccine/treatment, no patronizing any establishment not fully enforcing the rules.

    As long as others won’t take this seriously, I’m just not going any place where others congregate for extended periods of time. Period.

    For the foreseeable future, my family will only go to take-out exclusive restaurants.


  21. - SSL - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:27 pm:

    Sadly we’re only as good as our weakest link. Bars, and to a lesser extent restaurants, are popular with both people and viruses. Alcohol rarely enhances behavior, unless it’s taking bad to more bad.

    Close them.


  22. - Keyrock - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:30 pm:

    Yes, and I agree with others that moving to Phase IV was a mistake. We hadn’t been in Phase III long enough, and the problems other states are having are becoming clear.

    It might be different if we had national leadership modeling mask wearing and social distancing, so that there was a consistent public health message. (Consistent messaging is Public Health Rule 1.). But we haven’t had that.

    As for the economic argument - the economy can’t recover until the epidemic is crushed. If people don’t behave responsibly, parts of the economy that have reopened will inevitably be closed again.


  23. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:36 pm:

    I vote ticketing the heck out of bars and even people that violate the social distancing rules. I went out twice this weekend, but to low key places and felt totally safe. People were wearing the mask when not at their table, and there was a lot of hand sanitizer everywhere and everyone was smart enough not to crowd around. It was really nice, and I think the establishments that are willing to follow the rules should be allowed to stay open and make what little money they can.


  24. - Logical Thinker - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:36 pm:

    Another day of “shut it all down.” People do realize that we had the fewest number of deaths Sunday nationally since this started and the average age of the positive tests is now in mid 30’s, right?


  25. - Andrew Bursott - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:38 pm:

    YES! We are making avoidable mistakes and repeating lessons that have already been learned. South Korea discovered bars and nightclubs are CoViD hotspots almost two months ago.


  26. - Give us Barabbas - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:40 pm:

    Agree that this time around, it’s one warning and on the second violation, “yoink” goes the license, at least for a week. Same as any health code violation.

    That’s more fair than punishing everyone and every cooperating bar by setting the state back to a previous phase. Which is what could happen if you let the scofflaws ruin things for everyone. Good proprietors must be supported. Let the bad ones howl.

    Barkeeps are, in the end, businessmen; they will enforce the rule if they believe the punishment is going to be consistent and actual. Like not serving to under-aged patrons, because the cops conduct random stings and the punishments from liquor control are harsh.

    In a way, it’s not different than disciplining little kids: if you are not consistent with consequences, they will constantly try to roll you. This will probably cost JB some fans, but in the end, like the inside smoking bans, pulling licenses from the worst violators is the right thing to do.

    Remember how it was “the end of everything” when the indoor smoking bans went into effect? Me neither, because it turned out not to be an unrecoverable disaster.


  27. - Nick - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:43 pm:

    Re-opening for patio service sure

    But I do think we need to reevaluate whether it’s a good idea for there to be indoor service especially at bars where any sort of social distancing is impossible.


  28. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    Give them a warning. We worked too hard to get to where we are today, to have it sabotaged by the shallowest selfishness. We can drink at home or go to friends’ houses, etc, or we could just cooperate with the requirements.

    “Reopen now” and “face masks are government oppression” have been absolute disasters. Now they have to take steps backward. Illinois has taken precautions and listened to health experts and scientists. We have taken steps forward. The president’s handling of COVID-19 is one of the biggest failures in American history. Not only is he not leading, he is encouraging coronavirus spread by not wearing masks, and divesting himself of liability.


  29. - Someone you Should Know - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:45 pm:

    The reason why our tests are in the 30’s is the younger folks are not really following the guidelines. that is not a good thing, if they give it to mom and dad or grandparents.


  30. - Nick Name - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:48 pm:

    Yes. Big mistake.


  31. - Some Guy - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:48 pm:

    Opening the bars was a HUGE mistake. I’d type it in 24-point font if I could.


  32. - In 630 - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:53 pm:

    It’s really looking like reopening about anything indoors has been a mistake.

    And based on experience around the country it seems like it takes about a month for those problems to really start manifesting. It’s not an immediate bump a couple weeks out- it takes time for going out to be normalized again- and as that happens then the numbers go up.

    The plus side- less fatalities in the newer, mostly younger cases- but that just addresses the worst case scenario. There’s still hospitalizations, ICU and vent experiences. And the unknowns of lingering future effects.

    If we want a chance at school in the fall, I think we have to sacrifice these indoor experiences. And that means getting real about propping up workers and the businesses that employ them.


  33. - Lynn S. - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:54 pm:

    A particular alcoholic establishment in Champaign-Urbana was fingered as having non-masked patrons in close proximity over the weekend. Expecting a spike here within 14-21 days.

    Not going to say the name of the establishment, but let’s just say the vast majority of its patrons were in all likelihood under the age of 25.


  34. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:56 pm:

    I didn’t think bars should have been allowed to open in the first place. There are many bars where it’s impossible to social distance. And, if the bars can’t or won’t enforce the rules then they have nobody to blame but themselves.


  35. - Nick - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:56 pm:

    Joe’s and Red Lion


  36. - Keyrock - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:56 pm:

    New Jersey is delaying reopening of indoor dining.
    https://twitter.com/aslavitt/status/1277675560097984513?s=21


  37. - Keyrock - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 1:58 pm:

    “Logical Thinker” - you do know deaths are a lagging indicator? First comes infections, then hospitalizations, then deaths.


  38. - Pundent - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:12 pm:

    = Yes, and I agree with others that moving to Phase IV was a mistake. We hadn’t been in Phase III long enough, and the problems other states are having are becoming clear.=

    We were meeting the federal and state guidelines and can you imagine the backlash from both sides of the aisle if Pritzker said sorry we’re staying put? He did his part, now it’s on us. Be smart, follow the rules, don’t take unnecessary risks and wear a mask.


  39. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:19 pm:

    Neither bars or mass protesting should have been allowed to operate without social distancing concerns being observed.


  40. - Nilwood - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:19 pm:

    Would be nice to see some coverage of this topic in the SJ-R. Just sayin…

    Wouldn’t SJ-R need to actually have a local reporter on staff first?/s


  41. - Behind the Scenes - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:21 pm:

    Rich… It would be good to see any local coverage in the SJ-R. Just page after page of Associated Press and USA Today stuff.

    Credit due, though, for some pretty good coverage of the shootings at Bunn last Friday.


  42. - Logical Thinker - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:30 pm:

    “- you do know deaths are a lagging indicator? First comes infections, then hospitalizations, then deaths.“

    I do. Except that is not the experience in this “wave.” In Houston, hospitals are at lower ICU capacities than they were a year ago and hospitalizations now are for a shorter period of time. In Orlando, one of the supposed “hot spots,” there have been 4K cases in the last month and a total of 15 deaths.


  43. - Lynn S. - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:31 pm:

    Nick, not the name I was given, but wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out those two were engaged in the same actions as the unnamed establishment.


  44. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:34 pm:

    Logical Thinker:

    U.S. cases are spiking at a higher rate than at any other time. You seem to want to just shrug your shoulders at that. No, this isn’t going away. But ignoring what is happening right now is not how you solve anything. You have to get the problem under some semblance of control and this virus is completely out of control right now. I wish you covid deniers would stop shrugging your shoulders at this pandemic as if it’s no big deal. You are part of the problem as to why things are the way they are. You simply don’t care. It’s no big deal to you.

    Not very logical.


  45. - Huh? - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:36 pm:

    Do not engage with logical thinker. The moniker is of someone who is neither logical or a thinker.


  46. - Independent - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:41 pm:

    This past Friday Florida ordered non-restaurant bars to stop selling alcohol, essentially shutting them down.


  47. - Logical thinker - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:42 pm:

    The death rate is the lowest it’s been in months. The average age is lower than it’s ever been also which means the fatality rate for those cases is minuscule. College football teams have had multiple cases across the country. I have yet to see one hospitalization of ANY athlete in their 20’s or 30’s and it’s a large group at this point.

    If we’re going to move towards preventing the virus from spreading until there is a magic treatment then NOTHING should be open. Is that what we want because that is what I keep seeing here?


  48. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:46 pm:

    Do you want the virus to continue spreading out of control? Because that seems to be what you are advocating for. From what I’m seeing from you is that you think this is all no big deal.

    The entire European Union is likely going to ban Americans from coming into any of their countries. Seems like others consider the virus to be a big deal.

    Other countries, like New Zealand, shut down completely to get the virus under control and their borders are locked down. Seems like those countries think it’s a big deal as well.

    Here in America? Not so much. We’re arrogant and nobody is going to tell us what to do. We don’t care if the virus spreads out of control. No big deal, right.

    That’s your attitude and it’s sickening.


  49. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:47 pm:

    === then NOTHING should be open. Is that what we want because that is what I keep seeing here?===

    No.

    Other states are learning opening to soon being rolling back phases.

    I don’t think you grasp the whole “increase of cases” is bad thing.

    You have Germany canceling Oktoberfest, and musicians still having “concerts”

    K? You get it yet?

    The Olympics, Wimbledon… canceled… people are not wearing masks *and* upset SEC football might not happen.


  50. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:49 pm:

    == Is that what we want because that is what I keep seeing here?==

    And I’ve not seen too many people argue that. They are arguing for people to be smart and people are most certainly not being smart or you wouldn’t have bars packed full of people with no masks and no concern about social distancing. If people want to be irresponsible they are welcome to do that. And they are also going to suffer the consequences of their irresponsiblity. We control what happens and when we have your “we don’t care” attitude then we deserve what we get as far as openings go.


  51. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:54 pm:

    Logical Thinker. You are mostly spot on. Compromised people like myself need to hunker down to minimize exposure. But a vaccine may never be developed, and if so, what percentage of people will take it? Then what? Mandatory vaccines or else…


  52. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 2:57 pm:

    ==Compromised people like myself need to hunker down to minimize exposure==

    Yep, we certainly want you to remain hunkered down for the forseeable future so that we can all pile into bars. That’s certainly logical. Not.


  53. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 3:00 pm:

    = ==Compromised people like myself need to hunker down to minimize exposure===

    … and yet you waxed poetic about eating at a restaurant while complaining about Illinois

    If you’d like I’ll bring it up for you to revisit.

    You are truly terribly desperate for attention.


  54. - lake county democrat - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 3:07 pm:

    Blue Dog - but legions of compromised people can’t hunker down - they’re embedded in families. Also, can’t we afford to be a little patient on developing new treatments, not just vaccines? We already seem to have 2 that help the most critical cases, and the world scientific community has only been working on this for about four months. Plus, per Rich’s post and others, there are side effects even for younger people we don’t understand yet.


  55. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 3:30 pm:

    Went to an indoor restaurant for the first time in 3 months (family-owned, Mexican cuisine). They also had an outdoor area, and I’d say the crowd was 60% outside by choice. Indoors, the place was immaculate and attended by staff who cleaned up well before/after patrons, and socially distant tables with every other table and booth closed. If we’re gonna have it, this is probably the closest to ideal. I am sure there are other places where limits won’t be observed. I would be in favor of rolling back bar openings to outdoors-only, allowing patrons indoors and trying to keep them socially distant while in various states of sobriety is like herding cats.


  56. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 3:42 pm:

    ===Neither bars or mass protesting should have been allowed to operate…===

    Let’s unpack that gibberish, shall we? One of these activities is happening inside private businesses regulated and licensed by city and/or state authorities. The other is a spontaneous gathering of outraged citizens.

    What kind of power are you willing to cede to the government to suppress acts of civil protest?

    But please, keep sharing your authentic frontier wisdom with us. It’s enlightening.


  57. - Jibba - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 3:42 pm:

    Yes, too soon. And yes, there need to be enforced rules about wearing masks and social distancing. When that part gets forgotten, the cases rise. Sit outdoors at a distance from each other and wear masks, and we will probably be able to keep cases to a minimum while a vaccine is developed.

    I volunteered at a store in a rural small town this weekend, and half the customers didn’t wear masks (one coughing regularly), and many tried to approach me around the plexiglas. I won’t be going back.


  58. - JDuc - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 3:57 pm:

    Take a look at whats going on everywhere they have opened up early. Wisco has been open for weeks and restaurants are now closed as employees are popping up positive. 2-3 weeks and the cases will be on the rise….


  59. - Huh? - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 3:59 pm:

    “Re-opening for patio service”

    In my town, the bars and restaurants have set up “patio seating” on public streets and sidewalks where there was none. Where there was sidewalk seating, it was expanded to streets that are now closed.

    It annoys me to no end that public rights of way are being given over to the private benefit of the bars and restaurants.


  60. - R A T - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:00 pm:

    I try not to be mean but blue dog dem, you are beyond an annoying falsehood self-contradicting gem. Trolling is one thing but consistently trolling yourself is just silly.


  61. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:08 pm:

    RAT. Your not mean at all, and I don’t get offended by those who don’t agree with me. If you don’t like an environment that appears unsafe, like me and the Mrs do. Avoid it. There are places I visit that I feel as safe as my own home. As for as that spontaneous outrage go, my daughter and her 8 yr. Old got cornered in Lincoln Park and couldn’t navigate their way out of it. Ended up being shoulder to shoulder. But thats OK by some peoples thoughts. She had no idea it was coming.


  62. - ChicagoBars - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:11 pm:

    FWIW to Lake County Democrat:

    “Instead this looks a lot like St. Patrick’s Day when some (I don’t know what percentage) places forced Lightfoot’s hand leading to closures a day or two later.”

    It seems like an eternity ago, but on March 13th City & State limited interior occupancy to 250 or less.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-coronavirus-ent-chicago-limit-crowd-size-20200312-ais4yz2wifchxeut2yz6tfdeoe-story.html

    The 2020 St Patrick’s Day was the slowest many tavern and restaurant owners I know in Chicago ever saw. Lot of those Saint Patrick’s Day Saturday lines were only due to (far fewer than usual) people still trying to get into bars and restaurants in downtown Chicago that suddenly had sharply reduced occupancies heading into the weekend.

    It’s been a long year. Things have been moving, and evolving quickly since March 2020.


  63. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:28 pm:

    ===got cornered in Lincoln Park and couldn’t navigate their way out of it. Ended up being shoulder to shoulder.===

    I’m sorry that happened to them. Must have been scary.

    This thread is about whether we opened bars too soon. It’s not your personal soapbox to air whatever grievance you have at any particular moment.


  64. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:31 pm:

    Perspective?

    According to the NYT…

    Broadway? Closed until 2021.

    It’s *still* June.

    June.


  65. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:36 pm:

    Don’t yank their license, fine them $10,000 per violation and let the local public health department keep half.

    And offer a reward of up to $1000 for whistleblowers by posting images on twitter #BarsBehavingBadly


  66. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 4:46 pm:

    ===Neither bars or mass protesting should have been allowed to operate without social distancing concerns being observed. ===

    Although social distancing was difficult, protesters generally wore masks and stayed as far apart as they could. Result: No spikes associated with mass protests. Same seems to be the case with barbers and hair salons where everyone is masked.

    Indoor dining and drinking? (masks not really possible) Spikes in other states have led to closures…I think it is just a matter of time here. Opening indoor bars and dining was too soon, too soon, too soon.

    Overall, the need to wear masks is becoming so apparent that even VP Pence has flipped.


  67. - MyTwoCents - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 5:46 pm:

    Even before Florida decided to shut all it’s bars, it was going after individual bars who were in violation. Until we start seeing the positivity rate start moving significantly upward or the hospitalizations moving in the wrong direction, that’s the probably the best policy for Illinois. We’ve got the Liquor Control Commission, use it to go after the violators because I don’t trust the local authorities in parts of this state to the right thing.


  68. - Chatham Resident - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 6:15 pm:

    ==Yes, and I agree with others that moving to Phase IV was a mistake. We hadn’t been in Phase III long enough, and the problems other states are having are becoming clear.==

    I agree too.

    Along the lines of bars opening too soon, do you think Secretary of State was a little too early in returning all their employees back to work on June 1? I’m happy to be back to work but I’m sometimes starting to wonder if it might have been too early for a full reopening by all staff.

    This was in light of the Schaumburg driver’s facility employee that contracted COVID-19, and a recent employee memo we received reminding us not to come to work if we’re sick (claiming there were reports of sick employees still coming to work). Even though SOS has the mask requirement in public spaces, social distancing, no common lunch/break areas in many buildings, being appointment only in some buildings, etc.


  69. - LastOneIn - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 7:53 pm:

    There is one indoor mall in Bloomington. Claims to require masks. Most of the stores have individual signs saying masks are required. Only half the shoppers are wearing masks. There will be a spike even in Illinois because of individuals like these.


  70. - thoughts matter - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 8:48 pm:

    I have been to two restaurants since Friday. Both in small towns. Both did a great job while indoor dining was closed with take out. One of which erected a tent for the outdoor dining period / properly distanced with masks.

    None of the servers were wearing masks this weekend. One Restaurant wasn’t limiting seating. I found it very annoying and disrespectful to the customers that kept them in business since March.


  71. - Lynn S. - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 10:11 pm:

    WCIA showed pictures on the 6 p.m. news of Joe’s and Red Lion.

    Anyone who thinks we can open bars with outdoor patios might want to take a look at those pictures.

    And then spend some time pondering if outdoor patios at bars are a good idea.


  72. - Strannik - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 10:26 pm:

    I do want to point out that bars have been open in Indiana since June 12 (at 50% capacity), and Wisconsin bars have been open since May. We haven’t seen spikes in Indiana yet (and we haven’t seen a significant drop, either). Wisconsin is seeing an increase, So… I suppose we’ll see in a few weeks.

    (In the interest of full disclosure, my brother manages a bar. He is, for the record, uneasy about the whole thing)


  73. - filmmaker prof - Monday, Jun 29, 20 @ 11:56 pm:

    And Lynn S., the big university wants to lock me in a closed classroom for 3 hours at a pop with those same college kids. Yeah, right. Will quit first.


  74. - Just Peachy - Tuesday, Jun 30, 20 @ 9:33 am:

    Yes way too soon. It is unbelievable that people put their need to drink publicly before their own health or those around them. Sadly, now that they are open even if customers don’t come they will likely loose access to any federal assistance.


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* UIUC still waiting on federal approval to expand saliva test beyond campus community
* 587 new cases, 37 additional deaths, positivity rate of 2.5 percent
* Question of the day
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* Secretary White shows again why he's such a class act in response to "lynching" tweet
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* State revenue down $1.135 billion, but there were a few bright-ish spots
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* I'm not sure why this is being treated almost like a scandal
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