Ugaste Demands Changing of State Covid-19 Policy

GENEVA—Amid recent reports of decreasing COVID-19 cases and that a large portion of the reported cases are coming out of nursing homes and prisons, State Representative Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) is demanding immediate attention from Governor Pritzker to address this trajectory and also to ease restrictions on businesses.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ugaste has backed a strategy to deal with COVID-19 that included the legislature. Ugaste advocated for a safe and fair reopening policy for local businesses throughout the ongoing public health crisis, including one which would allow smaller businesses the same opportunities that larger big box stores had. Now, based on the current health data, Ugaste is again pushing for changes in Governor Pritzker’s statewide restrictions on restaurants and businesses and a revision to the program to help nursing homes.

“COVID positivity rates show that a very large percentage, if not the majority, of these cases  are coming from nursing homes and prisons, yet I have heard of no new policies to help nursing homes and heavy restrictions are still placed on our business community, including a complete shutdown of restaurants and bars,” said Ugaste. “We must do better for our elderly.  Furthermore, local businesses are fighting tooth and nail to stay afloat and keep their workers employed amid the serious constraints the Governor has imposed, and it simply doesn’t follow the latest data trajectory on COVID-19. We must also do better for our businesses and their workers, and that includes finding a smart way to re-open our economy.”

Despite the ongoing push for a collaborative, bipartisan ‘Reopen Illinois’ plan, such requests have been repeatedly ignored by the Pritzker Administration.

“The tough reality is, Republican lawmakers have been pushing to be a part of the conversation on COVID-19 and the economic recovery process since March,” continued Ugaste. “Nine months later, progress hasn’t been made. While there are many moving parts in this public health crisis, our elderly and the business community and their employees should not be forgotten.”