Governors in Illinois and seven other Midwest states on Thursday announced plans to work together on reopening the economy following the coronavirus pandemic, but notably, one state isn't on the list: Iowa.
The bipartisan group includes governors in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and Kentucky. Two of the governors are Republicans while five are Democrats.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has refused to say whether she was asked to join with other Midwest governors in coordinating the reopening of their state economies.
Reynolds' spokesman Pat Garrett says she will continue to have conversations with other governors but didn't respond when asked if she was asked to join the Midwest group.
When asked why Iowa was not included, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Iowa chose not to be part of the group.
" I know they don't have a stay-at-home rule yet in place," Gov. Pritzker said. "They've made a lot of different decisions than we have."
The group of governors has indicated they will look for four factors when determining when to reopen the economy:
- Sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations.
- Enhanced ability to test and trace.
- Sufficient health care capacity to handle resurgence.
- And best practices for social distancing in the workplace.
“Phasing in sectors of our economy will be most effective when we work together as a region," a joint statement read. "This doesn’t mean our economy will reopen all at once, or that every state will take the same steps at the same time. But close coordination will ensure we get this right."