coronavirus

Illinois Restaurants Closing for Dine-In Starting Monday Night

Some restaurants announced plans last week to increase doorstop delivery ranges and offer curbside pick-up

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By 9 p.m. Monday, all Illinois restaurants and bars will be closed for dine-in customers.

The temporary closure will continue through March 30, but delivery, drive-thru and curbside pickup options will still be allowed.

The move marks a challenging time for restaurant owners and businesses across the state and in Chicago, known for its culinary scene.

City officials said they are working with federal partners to "ensure local businesses have access to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Fund."

Last week, GrubHub announced it would temporarily suspend collection of up to $100 million in commission payments from impacted restaurants nationwide "as part of a practical measure to support small businesses and employees that utilize their delivery service."

"Delaying our revenue will increase the restaurant's cash flow, allowing them to pay their employees and weather this difficult situation," CEO Matt Maloney said in a statement.

Some restaurants, like Gene Georgetti, announced plans last week to increase doorstop delivery ranges and offer curbside pick-up.

The legendary steakhouse in Chicago's River North neighborhood increased its delivery footprint from 7 to 12 miles and said orders of any sized placed by phone will be available for curbside pickup.

"Guests can simply pull up, present their order number and their items will arrive safely packaged and be loaded into their car with white glove service," the restaurant said in a release.

The Alinea Group announced all of its restaurants would be closed and guests would be refunded, but the company's co-owner Nick Kokonas did say it is working with a Tock to test a new service that allows "restaurants that don't typically offer take-out quickly do so in creative ways."

At a news conference Saturday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker once again called on residents to stay home amid the coronavirus outbreak as an additional 16 cases were announced in the state.

Popular pizza chain Lou Malnati's said carryout and delivery services "will continue to operate at normal hours and we have taken measures to reduce the person-to-person contact in order for these services to continue operating safely."

Giordano's Pizza chain is also offering "no-contact delivery" at checkout. Those who select it will have their food delivered to their door and left there after a driver rings the bell.

The popular Time Out Market said it would temporarily close, but encouraged supporters to order delivery from some of the many restaurants featured in its market, including Arami, The Art of Pizza, Urbanbelly, Dos Urban Cantina, The Duck Inn, FARE, Mini Mott, Pretty Cool, Split-Rail and HaiSous. It also noted that those who wish to support other restaurants can buy gift cards during this time.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the restaurant closure order Sunday as health officials revealed 29 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total statewide to 93.

Also on Monday, all Illinois schools will hold their final day of classes before shutting down for the remainder of the month, as ordered by the governor. The Illinois Gaming Board also announced all casinos will be closed for 14 days starting Monday.

Illinois has already banned large gatherings of 1,000 people or more, postponed or canceled major events like the Shamrock Shuffle and closed the iconic Bean to the public. Museums across the city have closed their doors along with popular tourist destination Navy Pier and every major sports team in the city has suspended games and events.

The Archdiocese of Chicago has suspended all public church services and celebrations of Mass and ordered all Catholic schools closed "in order to slow the spread” of the coronavirus pandemic.

For a list of Chicago-area event cancellations, click here.

March 13 briefing: Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday that all schools in Illinois will close due to the coronavirus.

In total, approximately 1,600 specimen associated with the coronavirus have been tested at Illinois state labs, according to Illinois Dept. of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Ngozi Ezike. More than 300 specimen were processed Friday alone, Dr. Ezike added.

On Saturday, President Trump announced the United States will broaden its European travel ban, adding the United Kingdom and Ireland to its list of affected countries.

If you've been shopping recently, you've seen it for yourself--long lines at grocery stores and maybe even scarcity when it comes to essential household items. People are trying to stock up so they can be prepared in case they're home for a long period of time or in case supplies run out. NBC 5's Regina Waldroup reports.

State officials have been urging people, particularly elderly residents, to avoid mass gatherings in the area.

Pritzker, who last week declared a disaster proclamation in the state, said he has demanded the state receiving more testing kits as soon as possible.

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