DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe tells WAND News she signed the emergency order for the city of Decatur.
The emergency order will allow officials to pull liquor licenses from businesses that are not following phase 4 guidelines. According to Moore Wolfe, it provides the authority for these businesses to be closed if they are not taking COVID-19 seriously.
Under the Phase 4 in the "Restore Illinois Plan" the guidelines call for face coverings for employees and patrons at restaurants and bars. It also calls for social distancing as means to prevent exposure and the spread of COVID-19.
In the proclamation signed Wednesday by the mayor, section 4 details how a bar or restaurant can operate:
- A minimum of six feet between tables, bar seating or other designated patron service areas.
- No more than 10 people in a party shall be permitted at a table.
- Standing area capacity may operate at maximum of 25% of standing area capacity
- Employees shall wear face coverings over their nose and mouth while on premises within six feet of others.
- Patrons and visitors should wear face coverings over their nose and mouth while on premises, including while waiting for a table, standing in line to order, pick-up or checkout, while ordering all other times, except while eating and drinking at a table.
- People should not congregate on licensed premises in a number greater than allowed by guidelines set forth in Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity guidelines.
The order will be in effect until the next Decatur city council meeting, when leaders will make more decisions on its future.
In a city update posted Wednesday, Decatur City Manager Scot Wrighton implored the public to follow these guidelines and help bring down rising COVID-19 statistics.
"We just have to make the best of it and come together in this time of crisis," he said. "At least through the end of August, we all need to just buckle down and do what's right."
Wrighton voiced concern about multiple central Illinois counties being placed under warning status for high COVID-19 statistics. He said there would be consequences if Macon County's numbers become too high.
"If the state of Illinois declares Macon County must roll back to Phase 3, that means no more indoor service of food and beverages anywhere (and) no groups of more than 10," he said. "Salons, spas and fitness centers would be shut down and, frankly, life in general becomes a bit more dreary."
He applauded the majority of people locally who have followed guidelines and worn masks. He's asking for everyone to follow suit, pointing out that Decatur has come together to weather the storm of past crisis situations and must do it again.