Peoria county health experts anticipate more indoor gatherings with lower temperatures, surge in COVID-19 could cause economic down spiral

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria-area business experts predict catastrophic changes in the economy if state and local government tighten restrictions and renew lockdowns.

The temperature in Central Illinois is on a decline and outdoor activities are becoming limited. The weather is pushing people back indoors, impacting restaurants that used outdoor seating to serve more customers.

We do anticipate additional indoor gatherings as the weather gets colder.

Diana Scott, Peoria County Health Department

Scott said it is important that everyone follow guidance for businesses on the website.

…we do not want to see a surge in cases because of close indoor contacts.

Diana Scott, Peoria County Health Department

The United States plunged into a recession in the spring. The country has been slowly recovering ever since, especially as restrictions loosened in the summer. Now, Coronavirus is on an upward trend nationwide and here locally.

Peoria-area Chamber of Commerce President, Joshua Gunn said if we do not adhere to safety measures now, we will be worse off.

“If we have to go back to a shutdown, it can be catastrophic for the economy,” Gunn said.

Betty Luncsford manages Neon Bison in downtown Peoria. She has been working there since 1999.

“I do love this place I mean yeah, I would be devastated if it shut down again,” Luncsford said.

Luncsford said she plans to follow the guidelines and make sacrifices this year, like having smaller holiday gatherings. She said the precautions are for the sake of her job, health and the health of all around her.

Central Illinois health leaders are encouraging the community to follow suit.

Gunn said local businesses are suffering, he recommends wearing your masks and social distancing, but urges community members to support local businesses, even if that means just ordering takeout.

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