Will County staff respond to complaints about American Legion's COVID-19 compliance

Post commander said complaint about lack of compliance 'not true'

Will County Health Department staff visited American Legion Post 13 in Plainfield to explain Gov. JB Pritzker’s executive order after responding to complaints about the organization’s compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.

WCHD spokesman Steve Brandy said staff with the department’s Environmental Health Division visited the organization Oct. 28 and on Tuesday after receiving complaints.

Brandy confirmed the complaints were about American Legion Post 13 staff not wearing masks, patrons not being 6 feet apart, presets not being removed from tables and disposable cups and hand sanitizers not being available. Brandy also confirmed that Environmental Health staff saw those issues occurring at the location.

Brandy said the only thing “absolutely enforceable” by the Environmental Health Division is a provision under Phase 4 Revitalization that calls for a maximum of 50 people or 50% of the room’s capacity, whichever is smaller.

“For everything else, our [Environmental Health] Division offers education and information about the governor’s executive order,” Brandy said.

He said the visits Oct. 28 and Tuesday were “educational on the part of the EH Division.”

Remon Knowlton, commander of Plainfield American Legion Post 13, said staff from the health department did visit them in response to a complaint about his bartender not having a mask and people not social distancing enough.

“That complaint was not true, absolutely,” Knowlton said.

A man who wanted to remain anonymous said he was patron of the American Legion Post 13 and he made a complaint to the health department after seeing people not wearing masks and no one social distancing.

He said wants the American Legion Post 13 to be open, but claimed they were not making an effort to “make anything safe at all.”

“I want the place to be open, but you can’t have a bunch of 60-year-olds hang out without masks,” he said.

Knowlton said he had “a feeling we have somebody just not happy with us, a disgruntled former employee of some sort who is just playing some games.”