On Sept. 29, the Illinois Department of Public Health placed Region 1 under additional COVID-19 mitigations beginning October 3. According to their announcement, these additional mitigations were implemented in response to increased COVID numbers in our region.
State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) and State Senator Brian Stewart (R-Freeport), both of whom represent portions of Region 1, issued the following statement criticizing the decision to place Region 1 under further restrictions:
"With the region reporting zero deaths in last ten days and with our hospital ICU vacancy rates at over 50 percent, any talk of business closure is unwarranted and wrong.
While the safety and wellbeing of the citizens of this state should be our biggest priority, as we saw months ago, these arbitrary mitigations measures are not the answer to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
By shutting down our businesses and limiting their ability to operate, Governor Pritzker is doing lasting damage to our economy. Our business community is just beginning to pick up the pieces left behind from the original statewide shutdown Governor Pritzker enforced just months ago. We cannot afford to once again allow for our businesses to be negatively impacted and our workforce to take another hit just because the Governor has decided to enforce these arbitrary rules based on methodology that lacks much transparency.
Before destroying our economy and family business any further, the Illinois Department of Public Health owes the citizens of northern Illinois a much better explanation than a mere press release.
We are calling on Director Ezike to make herself available to answer, in much more detail, for these arbitrary decisions that will so negatively impact our communities."