Rep. Tony McCombie joined fellow legislators from Region 1 with a bipartisan request to Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), to delay Region 1 restaurant and bar closures so IDPH can re-evaluate the data before issuing new orders.
“The positivity rate is only one piece of the puzzle—Region 1 has not reached warning levels on hospital bed and ICU utilization. Many counties in Region 1 show, through contact tracing, that bars and restaurants are not the source of spread,” said McCombie.
Along with other local leaders, McCombie communicated with DCEO, who administers the Business Interruption Grants, to urge that businesses affected by these additional restrictions will be given priority for funding in grant awards.
The delegation urged in their letter, “before implementing a decision that will lead to thousands of layoffs and permanent business closures, we owe the communities that we represent and the businesses that have worked so hard to comply with these regulations, the opportunity to discuss this plan.”
The letter was co-signed by State Senator Neil Anderson, State Senator Brian Stewart, State Senator Dave Syverson, Rep. John Cabello, Rep. Andrew Chesney, Rep. Tom Demmer, Rep. Jeff Keicher, Rep. Joe Sosnowski, Rep. Maurice West, and Rep. McCombie.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director
Illinois Department of Public Health
535 W. Jefferson, 5th Floor
Springfield, IL 62761
Dear Dr. Ezike,
We are requesting no less than a week stay in the Region 1 mitigation order. This will allow us time to thoroughly review the evidence and discuss other potential mitigation options to reduce positivity numbers in our region.
It is clear the mitigation order put in place to take effect October 3rd will cause restaurants and bars to bear the overwhelming brunt of these new restrictive rules. Yet from the departments’ own data we know that restaurants and bars are not one of the major causes of the spread of COVID-19.
Before implementing a decision that will lead to thousands of layoffs and permanent business closures, we owe the communities that we represent and the businesses that have worked so hard to comply with these regulations, the opportunity to discuss this plan.
Senator Neil Anderson
Senator Brian Stewart
Senator Dave Syverson
Rep. John Cabello
Rep. Andrew Chesney
Rep. Tom Demmer
Rep Jeff Keicher
Rep. Tony McCombie
Rep. Joe Sosnowski
Rep. Maurice West