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“Are you open?”- “We sure are”… says Eureka bar employee

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(EUREKA) WEEK - The Outpost in Eureka has officially re-opened its doors after getting mixed signals from Woodford County public officials.

Saturday 25 News fielded more than a dozen complaints/calls about seeing large groups of people at the bar and being worried that "they're open against the Governor's orders."

For weeks, Governor JB Pritzker has denounced businesses for opening against his advice, warning of the possible spread of COVID-19 if people do not social distance. During his daily press briefings, Pritzker regularly states that restaurants are allowed to offer carry-out, but not dine-in options, though he says he cannot force or track every single businesses that chooses to do otherwise.

The Governor has left the enforcement to local municipalities, with the expectation and hope that they will adhere to his guidelines.

When 25 News called the bar to ask if they were open for business an employee answered and said "We sure are."

Saturday they declined an interview with our crews; the same employee saying they didn't want publicity. However another employee did advise our reporter Sunday to call back Monday and the owner may be willing to chat.

We were unable to find out if - despite their opening- Outpost had social distancing guidelines in place or if their employees were wearing any PPE.

Last week Eureka's Mayor penned an open letter to the public, reminding them the extended stay-at-home order would be enforced and to comply.

However, Woodford County State's Attorney Greg Minger told the public he would not be prosecuting people for disobeying the order and the Sheriff followed up by making it clear he would not be enforcing the order either.

The Outpost's re-opening and any other businesses following suit is exactly what Eureka Ward II Alderman Chuck Germann said he feared.

Germann said the mixed messages and lack of a unified front from all Woodford County officials is going to blur the lines for those who are on the fence about the executive order and put people's health at risk if they decide they "don't have to follow the rules."

Lauren Melendez

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