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Mask rule roundup

Wednesday, Aug 12, 2020

* From a reader on the new mask and gathering size rule…

Are folks who oppose the DPH rule actually serious in saying enforcement should be on individuals, not businesses? I get why businesses would argue that- to avoid legal responsibility. But they actually want enforcement at the individual level? They want businesses and customers to call police on the people in their communities, overload their local police and be responsible for having their customers hit with a misdemeanor? Or is it just something to argue?

It’s a good question.

* Capitol News Illinois

On Tuesday, several members of the panel, particularly Republicans, said they continued to hear concerns from local businesses in their districts about why they were being held liable for enforcing the public health rules, but their customers who refuse to wear masks or keep a 6-foot distance from others were not.

Among those was Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, who said callers to his office were concerned about actions of individuals leading to fines and potential misdemeanor charges for businesses.

But Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, a cochair of JCAR, said the graduated nature of the enforcement rules means businesses that genuinely are trying to comply should have nothing to fear.

“And I think it’s really important to understand what that points to is this rule is going to be enforced against rogue operators,” Cunningham said. “This is not something that is going to be easily applied even by the most zealous law enforcement agency or public health department against someone — a business that slips up once or twice. There’s just not an ability to do that based on the framework of this rule.”

I think Cunningham is right. The businesses will get a reminder and a warning. If and only if a business is ignoring those public health warnings, then the matter goes to the state’s attorney, who will have the authority to decide whether to proceed.

* Joliet Herald-News

“As small business owners and residents across the state spoke out against this blatant attempt to shut down the Illinois economy again, Democrat state lawmakers are silent,” the party said in a news release.

The Will County GOP urged its supporters to call members of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to “hold the Governor accountable.” Republicans asked citizens to “rise up again to combat yet another wrong done by this Governor,” according to the release.

The party also provided potential callers with talking points to argue it was “wrong to fine a business for a customer’s actions,” and that the rule would “hurt Illinois businesses and Illinois’ fragile economy.”

Again, a business would get a warning and then a threat of action before the state’s attorney would have to press charges

The graduated enforcement of the emergency rules begins with education of the business and hopeful voluntary compliance. A written warning will follow additional violations and some or all patrons may be asked to leave the premises. The third and final consequence could include a Class A misdemeanor [with] a fine ranging from $75 to $2,500.

County health departments and local law enforcement agencies will issue the warnings and fines, while only a State’s Attorney is able to issue a misdemeanor.

The rules apply to businesses, schools, and childcare facilities, but not to individuals.

* Finke

[Pritzker’s general counsel Ann Spillane] said the administration heard from law enforcement agencies that said a rule like this would be a help when officers are asked to break up large gatherings or address mask wearing.

The new version of the rule also makes it clear that different establishments face different circumstances, she said. A tiny story with one clerk on duty can’t do the same kind of enforcement as a larger store. Also, the earlier version made it appear that full compliance was required.

“Businesses are not expected to achieve 100% compliance,” she said.

* IRMA is right to be reticent to confront customers

Illinois Retail Merchants Association’s Rob Karr, whose group was among the first months ago to put out public service announcements about the importance of masks, said the rule requires businesses employees to stick their neck out for the mandate.

“This rule requires us now to have that interaction,” Karr said. “It is clearly putting employees and retailers at risk and the [Pritzker] administration now owns that responsibility.”

But somebody’s gotta do it. And, as noted at the top, somebody would still have to call the cops on recalcitrant customers.

* More

State Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, said the governor circumvented the legislature by filing the rule and creating a tiered approach that could lead to criminal charges.

“This is not going to make more people wear masks,” Schimpf said. “In fact, I think this is going to cause people to dig in their heels a little bit more.”

Schimpf said the governor should get the consent of the people and call a special session to deal with pandemic-related issues instead of issuing unilateral mandates.

State law, approved by the General Assembly, requires IDPH to promulgate rules in the event of unusual things like novel virus pandemics. It’s set up that way because the legislature is not exactly a quick responder.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

54 Comments
  1. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:09 am:

    ===“It is clearly putting employees and retailers at risk and the [Pritzker] administration now owns that responsibility.”===

    Yes, they are being put at risk of running into the unstable people that the IPGOP has been pumping full of lies and deception about their constitutional and human rights to not wear a mask when on somebody elses private property.

    The ILGOP owns this. All of it. The fact that we are even at this point is only because of their continued intransigence.


  2. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:11 am:

    “County health departments and local law enforcement agencies will issue the warnings and fines, while only a State’s Attorney is able to issue a misdemeanor.”

    There are County Health Departments, law enforcement agencies, and State’s Attorneys who may still turn a blind eye and deaf ear. The State of Illinois, through all branches of government, needs to make these entities accountable for any lack of action.


  3. - H-W - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:15 am:

    Under the =law of parsimony=

    If I own a space, and I allow others to enter my space, I am responsible for any injuries that occur on my space. Thus, I have homeowners insurance to help me cover any injuries that occur on my space.

    Businesses represent spaces. Business are responsible for any injuries that occur on their spaces. COVID is an injury, and thus businesses should willingly take steps to prevent customers from being injured on their spaces.


  4. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:17 am:

    It really bothers me that we had to come to enforcement. I can’t believe that there are people with so little regard for their fellow residents that they can’t wear a freaking mask when their indoors in public.

    In a better society, people would mask up just out of consideration for others.


  5. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:22 am:

    How is the no-smoking inside a business rule enforced?


  6. - twowaystreet - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:33 am:

    ==State law, approved by the General Assembly, requires IDPH to promulgate rules in the event of unusual things like novel virus pandemics. It’s set up that way because the legislature is not exactly a quick responder.===

    Didn’t the GA punt this issue in May or am I confusing with another EO?


  7. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:37 am:

    Here’s why this law stinks. Whomever does the enforcement will pick winners and losers.


  8. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:41 am:

    =Whomever does the enforcement will pick winners and losers.=

    So nobody should do anything? please.


  9. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:44 am:

    ===Here’s why this law stinks. Whomever does the enforcement will pick===

    That’s every law. Every single one.


  10. - don the legend - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:48 am:

    BDD. Today, I drove 35 in a 30 for over a mile with a police officer behind me. Today I’m a winner, huh?


  11. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:48 am:

    yup. And its usually the ones who can least afford it who get busted. Very similar to the social justice issues this country is currently undergoing.


  12. - SSL - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:49 am:

    The state has serious problems. It is shame that we have to spend time on this issue. If people would just wear a mask, and properly I might add, then perhaps the governor and his staff could focus on how Illinois navigates the post pandemic challenges that are very real.


  13. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:49 am:

    If I had a business, I would install cameras and refer the most obnoxious/dangerous customers to the police.

    Can’t speak for others, but I prefer to shop where I feel safe. H


  14. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:50 am:

    ===Very similar to the social justice issues===

    Yes and we all know what a major force you’ve been on social justice issues. lol


  15. - RNUG - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:54 am:

    If I owned a restaurant or bar business, I would proactively plaster laminated signage everywhere … on the doors and on each table.

    Confronting people can be dangerous. I watched one manager in a neighborhood place confront a patron after the Mayor issued the new rules; it got heated and the manager finally told them to just sit down at the open table closest to the door this time, and be sure to wear a mask next time.

    And here is an interesting question. It’s rare these days, but some of the old neighborhood bars and restaurants do have an owner’s or manager’s apartment upstairs. It is, literally, their home also. Are they going to be busted for walking around without a mask either upstairs or downstairs?


  16. - Glenn - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:54 am:

    I like the idea of shutting off electrical power and water to chill violators.

    Police have been using tear gas on constitutional street protests, so why not on mask protesters?

    (Just kidding. But why not?)


  17. - RNUG - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:56 am:

    == How is the no-smoking inside a business rule enforced? ==

    Voluntarily or by refusing to serve the smoker.

    There is also a rule about not smoking 12 or 15 feet from the door … but that is not always enforced at all.


  18. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:57 am:

    ===Are they going to be busted ===

    Stop. Do you really think the local health department and the state’s attorney and a judge are gonna do that? C’mon, man.


  19. - Swimdad13 - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:00 pm:

    If I were a business owner and saw a person come into my store without a mask on, I’d call the authorities and let them enforce the EO; just like every other law. I would have done my part. A citizen (store employee) should not be required to confront a brazen criminal. A business owner does not pay taxes to become Pritzker’s mask police.


  20. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:00 pm:

    =Very similar to the social justice issues this country is currently undergoing.=

    This is more of a tax on the willfully ignorant. I guess that is social justice for the rest of us.


  21. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:01 pm:

    Today it was reported that 72% of NYC businesses couldn’t make last months rent payments. I would imagine that is a similar number in most states. Things are close to completely imploding. This is going to be a tough call.


  22. - H-W - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:07 pm:

    One alternative is for small business owners in some cases to be proactive. They might consider providing masks to few people who show up without them.

    I understand that is an additional cost. But it is also one that can be managed cheaply, and it allows would-be, non-compliant customers an opportunity to either accept the mask, or not enter the business.

    The local chambers of commerce could certainly get on board if they want to protect customers from each other, and flatten the curve locally.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:09 pm:

    === Today it was reported that 72% of NYC businesses couldn’t make last months rent payments. I would imagine that is a similar number in most states.===

    Now add county and municipal shortfalls, states lacking in taxes generated.

    So I’m guessing you favor this second package of relief that will include, not only relief for businesses, but landlords, homeowners, and state and local governments.

    ===This is going to be a tough call.===

    Or maybe you don’t support a relief package.

    What will help?

    Six to eight weeks of immersed national lockdown with stricter masks and social distancing AND a relief package to allow such extreme and needed measures…

    … like we shoulda done this in March.

    But, here we are still “arguing” masks and how to enforce.

    Your concerned trolling for NYC is noted.


  24. - DownSouth - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:10 pm:

    So, I have to wonder - how will political or “non profit” fundraisers be addressed? Limit attendees to 50 or 50% of capacity and require masking etc? That ought to be a blast with some of GOP folks….
    I know more than few non profits are still forging ahead with their fund raising plans as they feel they are exempt from this or the onus falls on the venue not their organization.


  25. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:15 pm:

    I wholeheartedly support small business relief.


  26. - dan l - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:20 pm:

    Is the mask rule similar to the signage for GFZ’s? I mean ultimately there’s no red alert that goes off if you carry into a GFZ, but if the owner notices it, he can contact cops to have it enforced.


  27. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:24 pm:

    IDPH/JCAR rules that require the discretion and cooperation of hundreds of LEO’s and Health Depts that did not ask for them will have no teeth. LEO’s from many jurisdictions will treat calls as a nuisance and never move them up for further enforcement.


  28. - Bob - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:37 pm:

    Based on age of deaths, it appears that the focus should be on nursing homes or places where those live who are most at risk, not small business. Look at the ages of those who are shown in your post today.


  29. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:38 pm:

    ===Based on age of deaths===

    More to this virus than death.


  30. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:43 pm:

    The extreme is going on in one Florida law enforcement office, even though there has been one death and numerous cases among inmates and staff-

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/this-is-no-longer-a-debate-florida-sheriff-bans-deputies-visitors-from-wearing-masks/ar-BB17Rhz7?ocid=spartan-ntp-feeds


  31. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:46 pm:

    The list of long term effects from infection with COVID 19 grows by the week…including cardiovascular/ kidney / neurological.

    We are still at the beginning…beware.


  32. - Count Floyd - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:57 pm:

    I have to ride the CTA 3-4 days a week. In my experience and my unscientific estimation 20% of the customers do not wear masks correctly and another 20% do not wear them at all. Other than signage there are zero attempts by CTA employees to persuade riders to wear masks.

    I support this regulation as it relates to business. But it seems hypocritical to me that governmental agencies do not assume the same responsibility.


  33. - Facts Matter - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:59 pm:

    This is giving me a flashback to when smoking was banned at bars, restaurants, offices and other public places. There was the same blather back then about rights being denied, business owners would be endangered by irate patrons if they attempted to enforce the smoking ban, nobody would go to bars or casinos if they couldn’t smoke. There were pockets of non-compliance. In the end, people complied.


  34. - Pundent - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 1:21 pm:

    =Based on age of deaths, it appears that the focus should be on nursing homes or places where those live who are most at risk, not small business.=

    As a first step we have to focus on those places where the virus is most likely to be transmitted that drive community spread. That will lessen the likelihood of deaths in those nursing homes.

    I suspect that enforcement will be done based on egregious violations and flaunting of the rules. You’ll know where these places are when photos start showing up on Facebook and Instagram.


  35. - Questioner - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 1:41 pm:

    A business being held accountable for the actions of an individual is not only passing the buck, it is continuing the notion that accountability is not a requirement in life. It is similar to saying if I break the law by speeding, it isn’t my fault - the maker of the car should have limited its ability to go fast. Make people responsible for their own actions for a change. This doesn’t help in the gatherings of large groups in pop up parties - since there is no business involved, no one is responsible for people not wearing a mask.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 1:46 pm:

    === It is similar to saying if I break the law by speeding, it isn’t my fault - the maker of the car should have limited its ability to go fast. Make people responsible for their own actions for a change.===

    When your car becomes a place of business others frequent, lemme know. Don’t let the hot pocket overheat, the dorm room microwave is on the fritz.

    “Make people responsible for their own actions for a change.“

    Business owners hold a business license. They can’t be responsible for those on their premise.

    If they can’t control the patrons, why should they be open?

    All I heard, the bemoaning, the “open businesses”… the frustration…

    … was that all malarkey? Sounds like it.

    “Sure we *want* to be open, but putting rules on us… “

    Hmm.

    Stay closed if it’s “too much”


  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 1:49 pm:

    You can put this sign in the window of your business;

    “We are staying closed because we feel that making sure our patrons wear masks is too much for us, and the want to be open isn’t as strong as deciding we can enforce a mask rule.

    Visit our social media”


  38. - Jibba - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    ===Based on age of deaths===

    Hey Bob, do you actually look at the age distribution of deaths reported by Rich every day? People in their 40s are present almost every day, and occasionally people in their 30s and 20s show up. And not everybody in their 50s through 70s are housebound nursing home patients. They are your customers who are out and about daily getting food. Some are essential workers. And masks are what these people are upset about?


  39. - Pundent - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 2:00 pm:

    =A business being held accountable for the actions of an individual is not only passing the buck, it is continuing the notion that accountability is not a requirement in life.=

    If you’re like me you’ve likely frequented a business that had employees and/or customers who weren’t wearing masks. You likely don’t remember who these people were but you certainly know who’s business it is. For my own health and safety I make a note not to frequent these places going forward. And now there’s another avenue that can be pursued for those establishments that are lax.

    Since you’re into analogies here’s one to consider. You own a bar. Are you responsible if a patron has too much to drink?


  40. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 2:15 pm:

    ===I make a note not to frequent these places going forward===

    Same.


  41. - Roman - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 2:31 pm:

    The naysayers posting here should read the actual rule. It says businesses are considered in compliance if they do things like post signs, ask people to wear masks, or provide masks. That, combined with the three strikes before you’re out enforcement mechanism, means only businesses that are willfully ignoring the rule have anything to worry about.


  42. - Lutker - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 2:42 pm:

    @Anon221
    If that article were longer and slightly funnier, you would have thought it came from the onion. Unbelievable.


  43. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 2:48 pm:

    ==means only businesses that are willfully ignoring the rule have anything to worry about==

    Exactly right. This rule is aimed at businesses that are ignoring the mask requirement. This rule shouldn’t affect the majority of businesses. And the businesses it does affect will deserve everything they get.


  44. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 2:51 pm:

    === ==means only businesses that are willfully ignoring the rule have anything to worry about==

    Exactly right.===

    Perfect, actually.

    Those whining most, those complaining most, those seemingly “aggrieved” most…

    Aren’t ya already doing all these things?

    If you aren’t, I’m already not frequenting your place and being held accountable, you should be.


  45. - Bob - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 9:22 pm:

    Most of the cases, and most of the deaths are probably in nursing homes, care centers, etc. It may be possible that the cases, and deaths, of younger age groups are people who work in medical care, not retail business.


  46. - Pundent - Thursday, Aug 13, 20 @ 7:11 am:

    =Most of the cases, and most of the deaths are probably in nursing homes, care centers, etc=

    We’re averaging over 1,500 cases a day. How many people do you believe live and work in nursing homes? At this rate there wouldn’t be anyone left to work in these facilities or even test.


  47. - Bob - Thursday, Aug 13, 20 @ 7:44 am:

    The location of cases is “top secret.” If you want t prove, or convince me, that what I wrote about the younger age groups being more from health care than from retail business, see if you can get the health department to tell us whether retail business is the biggest problem.


  48. - allknowingmasterofraccoodom - Thursday, Aug 13, 20 @ 8:44 am:

    Just blows me away that businesses would have a problem with this mandate. They do this for “no shoes, no shirt..”, and having no shirt or shoes has never proven to kill anyone. I just do not get it.


  49. - Jibba - Thursday, Aug 13, 20 @ 8:56 am:

    Hey Bob, if the locations are unknown, how can you say they are from nursing homes? You’re the one speculating.

    And you didn’t say health care, you said nursing homes.


  50. - Bob - Thursday, Aug 13, 20 @ 9:05 am:

    You can’t call and find out where cases are. But there have been statewide reports showing more than half of the cases are in nursing or care facilities. Workers there, and at hospitals, etc., would be exposed. Don’t accuse me of speculating. I believe the information should all be given to the public.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 13, 20 @ 9:12 am:

    ===You can’t call and find out where cases are===

    Who exactly are you calling? What are you asking?


  52. - Jibba - Thursday, Aug 13, 20 @ 9:26 am:

    If the shoe fits, Bob. Not that I expect to convince you, but the source isn’t just retail. It is literally everywhere people congregate, and retail is no exception. However, retail, especially bars and restaurants, has been problematic, with high profile cases of owners opening or operating in contravention of rules, because they have “freedom”. That doesn’t happen at the hospital or dentist office because they follow the rules.


  53. - Bob - Thursday, Aug 13, 20 @ 12:03 pm:

    That’s my point. The nursing homes, doctors’ offices, hospitals, etc. all wear masks, and have been doing so. But the virus is still spreading in those places, in spite of the masks. We can argue all day, but if we had access to the actual information, the debate would end. But the health department won’t give out that info. Why not?


  54. - Jibba - Thursday, Aug 13, 20 @ 12:17 pm:

    ===But the virus is still spreading in those places, in spite of the masks.===

    Cite your proof, please, since you said you don’t have this data. And if you were right that infections continued at hospitals at some level despite PPE, then logically there should be much more transmission in unprotected retail situations. Your point doesn’t exist.


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