ST. CHARLES – Second Ward Alderman Rita Payleitner knows first hand just how contagious COVID-19 is.
During Tuesday's St. Charles City Council meeting, Payleitner talked about how she contracted a mild case of COVID-19.
"What I did learn with certainty, despite numerous safety precautions, was just how contagious this virus is," she said.
Payleitner said she caught the virus eating outside at a restaurant with a immunocompromised friend. They were at the restaurant during off hours and sat at a table that was set apart from the other tables.
"Having unmasked conversation while eating at close proximity was enough and that's how I got it," Payleitner said.
New state guidelines require those in a bar or restaurant to wear a face mask or face covering while interacting with wait staff, food service workers or other employees.
"Face coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth when patrons are approached and served by staff, including but not limited to when employees take patrons' orders, deliver food and beverages, and service tables," the guidelines state.
Payleitner called on everyone to follow those guidelines, especially in light of what happened to her.
"Had I worn my mask while talking and eating, I wouldn't have had the experience," she said. "So folks, wear your masks and practice safe distancing."
St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina thanked Payleitner for sharing her story.
"We're happy that you're back in business and well," he said.