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KANE COUNTY – Kane County Health Department officials are happy with Gov. JB Pritzker's announcement on Friday that the state will do more to ensure businesses, schools and child care establishments are requiring face coverings as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Pritzker announced the Illinois Department of Public Health will file emergency rules for businesses, schools, and child care establishments regarding the use of face coverings and the size of gatherings.
“Face coverings protect the public from spreading the virus," Kane County Health Department Executive Director Barb Jeffers said in a statement. "This will certainly contribute to the reduction of new cases. Until we get a vaccine, this is one of our strongest protection for reducing spread. We need everyone’s help to do this so having the business take actions would definitely assist in this effort.”
Luau Coffee in Campton Hills has a no-mask policy. Hand-written signs posted on the front and back of the business state: “Notice – This is a mask-free environment. Enter at your own risk.”
The Kane County Health Department has been in contact with Luau Coffee about its policy.
"The governor’s new policy might play into negotiations," Susan Stack, communications coordinator for the Kane County Health Department, said in an email.
Businesses will first be given a warning in the form of written notice and encouraged to voluntarily comply with public health guidance. Businesses that do not voluntarily comply will then be given an order to have some or all of their patrons leave the premises as needed to comply with public health guidance and reduce risks.
If the business continues to refuse to comply, the business can receive a Class A misdemeanor and be subject to a fine ranging from $75-$2,500. These rules do not apply to individuals and penalties will not exceed a misdemeanor and a $75-$2,500 fine.
"As I've visited with and listened to mayors and health departments all across our state, it's clear there is still an even greater need to get people to wear masks – especially to protect frontline workers, whether they're at the front of a store asking you to put on your mask or whether they're responding to 911 calls to save those in distress," Pritzker said, in making the announcement. "These rules, which provide multiple opportunities for compliance before any penalty is issued, are a commonsense way to enforce public health guidelines. Illinois has made substantial progress in our fight against COVID-19 because the vast majority of communities and business owners have done the right thing. These rules will help ensure that the minority of people who refuse to act responsibly won't take our state backward."
The governor also signed a bill to help protect workers who continue to serve on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.