Rep. Amy Grant Urges Governor to Reconvene Legislature; Adjust COVID-19 Response Plan

With heightened COVID-19 mitigations taking effect in DuPage County on Friday, State Representative Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) is urging Governor Pritzker to use more comprehensive data points when deciding when and where resurgence mitigations are necessary.

Rep. Grant sent a letter to the Governor and pointed to DuPage COVID-19 breakout numbers, which suggest the Governor is wrongly targeting restaurants, bars, and hospitality centers in his mitigation efforts. She asked that lawmakers return to Springfield to review the current coronavirus response measures, and make adjustments that provide for a new and better plan.

“COVID-19 is serious and we all need to be careful and take necessary steps to prevent the spread,” said Rep. Grant. “But the Governor continues to make unilateral decisions that to not reflect the accuracy of the data he continues to vaguely point to when questioned about his methods.”

In her letter to the Governor, Rep. Grant pointed to DuPage County Health Department data from March 1 – October 13, 2020, which showed that 79% of confirmed cases had been traced to long-term care and assisted living facilities and only 1.6% came from people who contracted the virus from a restaurant. For the same time period, outbreak data showed 41.9% of the outbreaks occurred at long-term care and assisted living facilities, and 6% of outbreaks took place at restaurants.

New DuPage County Health Department data released today (March 1 – Oct. 20, 2020) strengthens Rep. Grant’s position and lists 77.2% of all cases traced to long-term care, assisted living and skilled nursing settings, and just 0.7% of all cases traced to sit-down dining and 0.5% to fast food or carryout restaurants.

Through Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan, when a region posts positivity numbers above 8% for three consecutive days, Phase I of resurgence mitigations take effect. These mitigations include closing restaurants and bars to indoor seating and limiting all other public gatherings to 25% capacity or 25 people, whichever is lower. Mitigations do not make adjustments at senior living, long-term care or skilled nursing facilities.

“Based on our DuPage numbers, which are updated regularly, an overwhelming majority of cases were traced to senior living, long-term care and skilled nursing facilities, which suggests restaurants and bars are being targeted unnecessarily,” Rep. Grant said. “With cold weather upon us and no ability to seat patrons inside, I don’t think these businesses will survive the winter.”

In her letter, Rep. Grant states, “I implore you to call the legislature back into session. We need to base COVID-19 response decisions on a full set of data specific to each region. When we use this comprehensive data, we can work collaboratively on a resurgence mitigation response that sends resources and heightened proactive and protective measures where they are needed the most, while also preserving the state’s economic backbone- small business.”

Click here to read the letter and view the March 1- Oct. 13 data.

Click here to view the new DuPage County COVID-19 Chart for March 1- Oct. 20.