State Watch

Michigan enacts new coronavirus restrictions on restaurants, bars, schools

Michigan health officials on Sunday announced a new set of restrictions as part of the state’s efforts to control a new wave of coronavirus cases.

An order on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) website limits bars and restaurants to outdoor dining, carryout and delivery. Casinos and movie theaters will be closed. Gyms are allowed to remain open, but group classes are prohibited. 

High schools and university must conduct all classes remotely, according to the order.

Indoor gatherings in residences are limited to 10 people from two households, while outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people as long as they can practice social distancing.

“In the spring, we listened to public health experts, stomped the curve, and saved thousands of lives together. Now, we must channel that same energy and join forces again to protect our families, frontline workers and small businesses,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said Sunday.

“Right now, there are thousands of cases a day and hundreds of deaths a week in Michigan, and the number is growing. If we don’t act now, thousands more will die, and our hospitals will continue to be overwhelmed. We can get through this together by listening to health experts once again and taking action right now to slow the spread of this deadly virus,” she added.

The director of the agency stressed that indoor gatherings in particular were thought to be contributing to the rapid increase in Michigan’s cases. The state has seen more than 9,000 cases in a single day twice in the past week, the first time officials in the state have ever recorded that many cases in a 24-hour period.

“Indoor gatherings are the greatest source of spread, and sharply limiting them is our focus,” MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said in the news release. “The order is targeted and temporary, but a terrible loss of life will be forever unless we act. By coming together today, we can save thousands of lives.”

The order, which officials stressed was not a blanket stay-at-home directive, takes effect on Wednesday and will last for three weeks.

Michigan now has more than 3,200 people hospitalized with the disease and has recorded a total of 275,468 cases since the pandemic began in early 2020.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Gretchen Whitmer Michigan
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