Illinois residents react to new COVID-19 restrictions


(WEHT) The state of Illinois will take a step back later this week due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. Governor Pritzker announced the entire state will move to tier three restrictions. Starting Friday, there will be no indoor service at bars and restaurants. Theaters, museums, and casinos must close. Grocery stores must operate at 50% capacity retail stores at 25%. Gyms and fitness centers must also operate at 25% capacity.

Governor Pritzker is saying this isn’t a stay at home order yet. Some people in Southeastern Illinois who have pre-existing conditions say they are hoping more people choose to stay home and wear masks. Although others are afraid small business may not survive another stay at home order if Governor Pritzker puts even more restrictions in place.

“With what we’ve gone through this year. I think it’s going to have some very negative impacts and may even be the final nail in the coffin for some of them where they say ‘I give up. I just can’t do this anymore,'” said Jessie Kasinger, owner of Famous J’s in Mount Carmel.

There are grants available for Illinois businesses, but one pizza shop owner says he’s worrying about the economic recoil as more people get financial relief while restrictions become stricter.

“Our grandkids will be paying for it. You can’t keep piling on debt after debt after debt as the nation is in very severe debt,” said Kelly Savage, owner of Kelly O’s Pizza Pasta & Subs.

Eyewitness News talked to those who are fearing for their own health. As positive COVID-19 cases surge some people are fearing their community of Fairfield isn’t taking precautions seriously.

“You know we’ve already had a Veterans Day parade, we had trick or treating, we are getting ready to have a Christmas parade all while this is raising out of control in our community,” said Scott Bedja. “It’s like why? Don’t you care about your own grandmothers?”

Bejda from Fairfield said he believes it’s just a matter of time before Illinois has to resort to another stay at home order due to people in his town not wearing masks or practicing social distancing. He says this is something that’s been tough on his whole family.

“My mother battled cancer through this whole pandemic. In April I couldn’t even see her ring the bell when she finished radiation so you know this is real,” Bedja explained.

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