An unseasonably warm early November enables restaurateurs to continue serving customers outdoors as Lake County enters its second week under restrictions imposed against indoor dining by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

As the ban went into effect Oct. 31, some local restaurants immediately decided to comply, others were uncertain about their course of action while more chose outright defiance.

Restaurant operators in Waukegan and other parts of Lake County are deciding how to deal with the increased restrictions as the weather is likely to get colder, and the conditions which prompted Pritzker to issue his mitigation order to battle the coronavirus pandemic get more severe.

Larry Mackey, the director of environmental health with the Lake County Health Department, said he has received 32 complaints from members of the public about indoor dining and drinking at bars from Waukegan to Bannockburn, and Round Lake Beach to Mundelein, and beyond.

Mackey said many of the establishments are complying with a phone call, while some say they will not. Defiance brings an unscheduled inspection which can lead to fines and closure under extreme circumstances.

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