When Governor Pritzker imposed the ban on indoor dining in suburban Cook County (among other places), many restaurant owners felt like they got a gut punch.

They, along with restaurants across Illinois, were barely keeping their collective heads above water under the previous mitigation orders, and this latest pronouncement by the governor makes it more likely that many of these eateries just aren't going to make it.

Morton Grove Mayor Daniel DiMaria, feeling their pain, decided it was time to speak up, and he most certainly did in a letter to Governor Pritzker. In looking at Mayor DiMaria's letter, I notice that he didn't waste a lot of time in getting straight to the point with the governor.

After pointing out that he respects the difficult decisions that the governor has had to make during these unprecedented times, the mayor went on to say “Let me be blunt. Your recent order to close indoor service in bars and restaurants is an unnecessary, heavy-handed deathblow to these businesses and must be reconsidered.

The mayor correctly considered the fact that restaurants began to feel some relief when earlier mitigation efforts were dialed back, and indoor dining was allowed again (with common sense precautions being taken, like mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing), but dining establishments are now being driven toward bankruptcy again with the implementation of the governor's new rules.

Morton Grove's mayor then went to the numbers:

"Available data still shows more than 75% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 come from assisted living facilities, while less than 2% are restaurant workers."

Mayor DiMaria says that he doesn't understand why casinos, shopping centers, big box stores, and even schools can be allowed to operate, but restaurants can't. He wraps things up by saying that he, in good conscience, cannot order the Morton Grove Police Department to enforce Governor Pritzker's orders.

Click here to read Mayor DiMaria's letter to Governor Pritzker in its entirety.


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