Restaurants in the region close dining rooms to meet Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions

Published: Nov. 21, 2020 at 8:49 PM CST
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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) - A handful of area restaurants and bars close their dining rooms after the Winnebago County Health Department sends a loud message to follow Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions.

“To say I’m a little frustrated would be an understatement to go back is like we are going back to March again,” Owner of Baseball Tap Konrad Kallenbach. “Going back to carryout, curbside, or outdoor seating which at this point is kind of senseless.”

Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions hit the state last Friday and with them came a strong message for many businesses. Locally bars that we’re not in compliance with indoor dining guidance face a tough decision.

“A handful of us got served with our food permits being suspended last night,” Kallenbach said. “Now I have a whole staff that’s just back laid off.”

Kallenbach says the Winnebago County Health Department issued the suspension, he immediately reached out to them, to see if he followed Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions if he would be allowed to serve food at his restaurant.

“I actually heard back from Dr. Martell this morning,” Kallenbach said. “She said absolutely if you are willing to comply with the tier 3 stuff your orders of the food permit suspension will be lifted immediately.”

Kallenbach shut the doors and moved patrons outside like many have done in the region. In the City of Rockford, code enforcement teams did not focus on citations for indoor dining guidance until the state hit Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions.

“Our code enforcement team was out yesterday, they’ll be out again today and out again tomorrow, and moving forward checking on all businesses for compliance,” Legal Director with the City of Rockford Nicholas Meyer said.

Meyer says the city does not want to punish businesses in non-compliance, but it will fine those who do not follow Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions...

We did reach out to the Winnebago County Health Department about the permit suspensions but it could not be reached for comment at this time.

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