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THIS WEEK: Struggles with Restarting

Different approaches in Iowa and Illinois are frustrating business owners and customers

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Getting the area's businesses up and running, even at a limited capacity, will be a major undertaking.

"We're at that critical time when we've got to get moving," said Quad Cities Chamber President/CEO Paul Rumler during "News 8 THIS WEEK with Jim Mertens.

"Businesses want to get open, customers want to get out there but we all need to remember we need to do it in a responsible manner."

Watch more of our interview with Paul Rumler and hear how the Chamber wants to help local businesses on the News 8 THIS WEEK Extra on Facebook at WQADJimMertens.

The 2020 Mother's Day weekend sees a relaxing of some restrictions in both Iowa and Illinois.

Stores like VonMaur's NorthPark Mall department store in Davenport are now open, but on a limited basis.  The company's SouthPark Mall location in Moline remained closed.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds put the onus on Iowans who go out in public.

"Social distancing, careful hygiene practices, wearing a mask if you choose, it's how we continue to interact in public and how we'll continue to interact in public for some time," said Gov. Reynolds.

But in Illinois, it's a different philosophy where the responsibility doesn't rest with the public, but with those who operate public places.

"The option of returning to returning to normalcy doesn't exist," said Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

"That means we have to find a way to live with COVID-19 until it can be vanquished." 

But the Quad Cities Chamber wants to see an end to two different sets of rules: one that applies to the Illinois Quad Cities, the other regulating the Iowa Quad Cities.

"We are one economy so we're trying to get the attention of our two states so they make sure they treat us as such and I think they can do it," said Rumler.

"It's just whether they want to help us get to that point in time."

While new Illinois cases seem to be flattening the curve, not raising it, the state's top health official says we may all be guinea pigs in a way as society starts opening up.

"Whatever we had two weeks ago, again, was a result of people staying home pretty consistently," said Dr. Ngozi Ezike.

"We now need to see what will happen with the new attitudes that are prevailing, the new behaviors that are prevailing."

You can watch News 8 THIS WEEK with Jim Mertens Sunday mornings at 10 on WQAD News 8.