Last weekend, I picked up some take out from a popular restaurant. On my way in, I noticed that the outdoor seating for the restaurant next door was absolutely bonkers packed, with groups of people congregating at the host stand to be seated. I saw zero masks. Zero!
Because the residents of this state do not seem to understand how masks work, Governor JB Pritzker had to issue an amended/expanded mask mandate for restaurant and bar establishments:
Based on a recent increase in cases, these latest guidelines will require patrons to wear a mask during any interaction with wait staff, food service workers and other employees at bars and restaurants. 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. This guidance will also apply to other facilities with food services areas that are currently subject to the Restore Illinois guidance, such as indoor recreational facilities, museums and entertainment venues.
New guidelines go into effect Wednesday, August 26th and will require face coverings to be worn both in indoor and outdoor dining settings in all eleven regions in the state. Full guidelines may be found on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website.
Patrons are currently required to wear a mask whenever on premises, except while eating and drinking at the table or bar. The new guidelines ensure that while seated, interactions between business staff and patrons can happen safely to prevent possible spread of the virus.
This means that you must wear a mask when you ask to be seated, when you order food and drinks, and, yes, when you are just chillin' and chattin' before your food and drinks arrive. You must wear your mask when you are seated at your table. No food or drink in front of you? Wear the mask. Turns out, sitting does not, in fact, mitigate the spread of your droplets. Masks do that.
So please, for the love of this community and others, wear the mask.
Top image from Governor JB Pritzker's Facebook page.