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Winnebago County business owners worry about more restrictions with increased positivity rate

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ROCKFORD (WREX) —As the positivity rate increases in the region and in Winnebago County, business owners find themselves trying to prepare for more restrictions.

Some of these restrictions can include the closing of bars and restaurants and the lower limit of gatherings.

Downtown restaurant owner Matt Idzikowski says the last few months have been all about survival

"It's frustrating to see ten plus years of hard work get thrown away," said Idzikowski.

Praire Street Brewing Company general manager Patrick Gallagher says any restrictions on indoor dining comes at the worst time.

"It started yesterday with that weather we saw outside and today we only had one table sit outside because they had a dog," said Gallagher.

But it's not just the possible restrictions some owners are upset with. Some believe restaurants are being blamed for the increase in the positivity rate.

"It just feels like that a lot of the negative impacts are happening to the restaurant industry," said Idizikowski

Winnebago County Health Department Administrator Dr. Sandra Martell says even though there is not one source of the spread, officials still have to take steps to stop the spread where there is a possibility for more exposure.

"We know where the face coverings tend to come off more, we see it happen when people come together to eat and drink," said Dr. Martell.

Some business owners say there are other ways the positivity rate can be reduced in our county.

"We haven't talked about closing schools, we haven't talked about shutting down big stores, we haven't talked about closing Home Depot or Menards, or Walmart," Dr. Martell continued.

Some restaurants are working with the health department to come up with pays to slow the spread and keep businesses open.

Lauren Baker

Lauren Baker is the 13 News weekend evening anchor. She started in April of 2019 after moving from Michigan, where she was a morning producer/traffic reporter.

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