Metro East hits 8.1% positivity rate

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Two weeks after he rolled backed restrictions, Gov. JB Pritzker warned mitigation measures could be back, including a ban on indoor dining

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — Two weeks after he rolled backed restrictions, Gov. JB Pritzker (D-Illinois) warned mitigation measures could be back in Metro East’s Region 4, including a ban on indoor dining and consequences for restaurants that don’t cooperate.

“After a couple of warnings and perhaps a dispersal order, there is the potential for the issuance of citations,” Gov. Pritzker said.

The region hit a positivity rate of 8.1% Friday, above the critical 8% threshold. After three consecutive days at or above that number, mitigation measures are enacted.

To-go orders are flying out the front door at Belleville’s Beast Craft Barbeque, an increasingly popular choice with customers.

“To-go used to be about a quarter of our business, but now it’s about 65% of our revenue,” owner David Sandusky said.

However, it’s also a more expensive method, requiring paper bags and plastic packaging. 

On-site sales have moved indoors, to the few tables allowed under social distancing guidelines.

Sandusky said they set up a tent outside about six weeks ago. It’s done really well for them, but with Friday’s cold and dreary weather, there was no appetite for outdoor seating. And that will be a big problem if Gov. Pritzker bans indoor eating again. 

The update was emotional Friday, as Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngoze Ezike announced the newest numbers, she momentarily excused herself, turning away from the microphone before pleading with people to wear masks and use social distancing.

“My message to you is to stay strong,” Ezike said. “I have never run a marathon, but I have the utmost respect regard for those who have been able to train and plan and finish a marathon, but this is a difficult race when you can’t actually see the endpoint.”

Sandusky said they’ll follow the guidance whatever it may be, though they’re certainly hoping it doesn’t include more restrictions.

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Editor is WebTech Group (WTG). WTG is a web hosting, design, SEO, press release distribution company and news agency located in St. Louis, Missouri. Site is owned and operate multiple news sites in the region. Our objective with STLNewsMissouri.com is to offer readers a one-stop news site for Missouri news. We aggregate news from news media across the state. We do not aggregate news from all sources. We pick from those that offer RSS feeds and pick the best with eliminating those that might produce the same news stories, written differently.
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