coronavirus illinois

Business Owners Brace for Possible Restrictions Amid Surge in Coronavirus Cases

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

With the threat of new restrictions amid an increasing number of coronavirus cases throughout the state, business owners could once again feel the pinch if mitigation rules are put in place to help stop the spread of the virus.

On Monday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that it is possible the city could move back to Phase Three of its reopening plan if current coronavirus numbers hold, and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said that at least one Illinois region will have additional mitigation rules put in place, closing restaurants and bars to indoor service.

Region 5 will see those mitigations implemented Thursday, while Region 7, comprised of Kankakee and Will counties, and Region 8, comprised of Kane and DuPage counties, could be in a similar situation if current positivity rates hold.

That news has business owners holding their collective breaths, including Felippa Janik, owner of Janik’s Café in Wicker Park.

At the restaurant, they perform deep cleaning and sanitation procedures every week. They are proud they were able to survive the first wave of COVID-19, and are trying hard to make it through the second.

“We have a breakfast and lunch menu, and we are starting to implement some dinners, because we are getting ready for a possible closure,” Janik said. “We have been making the change to delivery, curbside pickup and takeout, because I believe that this will close us down again.”

Janik says that customers have responded to the eatery’s pleas for help, with more than 400 placing orders on the restaurant’s website.

“We’ve started passing out flyers asking customers to order from our website,” she said. “So we won’t have to pay the high percentage.”

In Chicago, numbers are surging in recent weeks, similar to those in the rest of the state. The state positivity rate now stands at 5.4%, a more than 60% increase over the last two weeks.

Monday, Lightfoot is warning residents and business owners that if things don’t improve quickly, the city could move back to Phase Three, implementing measures designed to stop the spread of the virus.

That news is unwelcome to the owners of Marquin Salon on Division Street, as they know that restrictions could impact them and the customers who helped them survive the first wave of the coronavirus.

“I feel like we’re going to get hit or hurt again if we do go back to stage three,” Marquin Martha said. “However, when it comes to health, it’s easier to accept.”

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