Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration issued a news release on Aug. 24 stating that Region 7 — the Will-Kankakee region — had been moved to stricter mitigations following three consecutive days of a rolling positivity rate above 8 percent. As of Friday, Region 7 has reached the threshold to lift mitigations of three consecutive days of a rolling positivity rate below 6.5 percent.
This meant that as of 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, indoor dining and bar service could resume along with larger gathering sizes as outlined in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.
Due to the mitigations, El Balcon employees had their hours shortened, but that situation will soon get resolved, Morales said.
“The new rules had affected by business, and we even lost a few employees,” she said. “But now I can hire them back and give them more hours. If these rules had not changed, my business would have been seriously affected because our customers were not coming in and I did not want to lose any more employees.”
El Balcon had kept its patio dining open, but the customers were not happy about this.
“Some customers thought that they were my own rules and got mad about the situation,” Morales said. “We had to explain to them that it was not our idea or rule, but they still just left.”
She said she was concerned about the governor’s orders as she agreed with the other restaurant owners who said that shutting down indoor dining in one county was pointless when people could drive to dine at other spots in the neighboring counties.
The family-owned restaurant is located at 291 N. Bolingbrook Drive.
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