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Health food store in Crystal Lake is McHenry County’s first business cited for violating COVID-19 rules

Crystal Lake Health Food Store. | Photo: Google Street View.

Health officials have issued a notice to appear in court to a Crystal Lake health store for not requiring face masks. They are the first in McHenry County to be brought to court over a COVID-19 violation.

The Crystal Lake Health Food Store, located at 25 East Crystal Lake Avenue, is facing a class A misdemeanor for violating COVID-19 guidelines, court records show.

The McHenry County Department of Health has generally been focused on educating businesses on state guidelines relating to the virus, however, they recently began forwarding several complaints to the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office.

A complaint for violation of ordinance filed in McHenry County court alleges Crystal Lake Health Food Store does not require its customers or employees to wear face masks.

McHenry County Civil Division Chief Norm Vinton said the citation against the business was “the last resort,” according to the Northwest Herald.

The Crystal Lake Health Store is scheduled to appear in court on January 7 and could face a fine of $75 to $2,500, according to court records.

“We welcome all in our store and we are especially mindful of personal and medical freedoms. We allow our employees and customers to make their own decisions regarding health,” Crystal Lake Health Food Store manager Dave Childress told the Northwest Herald.

“Our store has always offered, and will continue to offer, curbside, home and mail-order deliveries to all our customers who are unable to or do not wish to come in to the store,” Childress added.

McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally announced on November 25 he would not enforce Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s indoor dining ban, calling his powers questionable.

However, Kenneally said at the time that his office would enforce all other related administrative rules, ordinances and statutes.

Those rules include limits on business occupancy and employees and customers being required to wear masks and maintain six-feet of social distancing.

Patricia Nomm, who is the Director of Environmental Health at the McHenry County Health Department, said that health officials are in the process of serving notices to appear to several other businesses, the Herald reported.