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COVID-19 rises to 93, Illinois to close all bars, restaurants March 16th

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced today all bars and indoor restaurants will close at the end of business on Monday, March 16th until March 30th.

“We are working with restaurant owners and food delivery services across the state to see if restaurants can safely keep their kitchens open, so the restaurants can continue food delivery to people at their homes,” Pritzker said during a news conference Sunday.

The news comes as 29 new cases of COVID-16 reported on Sunday, bringing to total to 93.

“There are no easy decisions left to make,” Pritzker said, “As you governor, I can not let the gravity of these choices prevent us from taking the actions that the science, and the experts say will keep people safe.”

“Public safety is the No. 1 concern of the Illinois Restaurant Association,” said Sam Toia, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association. “First and foremost, we want to protect the health of our customers and team members.

Drive-thru, curbside pickup and delivery options will still be allowed under the closures.

“We are working with restaurant owners and kitchens across the state to see if restaurants can safely keep their kitchens open, so the restaurants can continue food delivery to people at their homes.  Additionally, we are allowing drive-thru and curbside pickup for restaurants to serve the public over this period.”

Pritzker further pushed the appeal to the public to take COVID-19 seriously during the press conference today.

“The time for persuasion and public appeals is over.  The time for action is here.  This is not a joke.  No one is immune to this, and you have an obligation to act in the best interest of all the people in this state.”

The statement is a direct reply to scenes at O’Hare and Chicago Bars on Saturday. Tomorrow’s COVID-19 is scheduled for 3pm.

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