DETROIT (FOX 2) - As Michigan begins at least three weeks of restrictions aimed to curb the spike in COVID-19 cases, some businesses able to stay open, with limits, while others are forced to close entirely.
The Whitmer administration announced new restrictions Sunday evening in what is being called a 'three-week pause'.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced in a press conference Sunday evening after meeting with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that new restrictions are being put in place to try to slow COVID-19. This order is coming from the health department, which has issued all orders since the state Supreme Court ruled Whitmer did not have the authority to do so.
Lance McGhee owns two Detroit businesses, Playa vs Playa Gaming Lounge and Storm Cigar & Hookah Lounge. Both are just starting to get off the ground and the hookah lounge just opened this year. Despite the pandemic, things were going well but the second shutdown was devastating.
"It has been a great response from the community. We have been getting tremendous support, he said. "The impact that it has on small businesses like myself can make or break a business."
His gaming lounge is forced to sit empty for three weeks but believed his hookah lounge would be spared because he bought tent bubbles. And he's partly right.
"It’s outside and it's enclosed and it only allows up to three patrons. We have purchased these and have been told we can’t use them," McGhee said. "The ambiguity around the rules for retail is rather confusing and its impactful to the bottom line of a lot of business owners."
We asked the state for clarification and they said "If only one household is using the bubble tents, they are in compliance. However, they also need to comply with any local regulations."
McGhee said he's contracted with a cleaning company that does the same kind of cleaning as is done on airlines and hopes it's enough. He said small businesses and government needs to find a way to coexist so he can continue.
Under the "Three-Week Pause", workers in all fields must work from home if it can be done remotely.
Several businesses and services are closed:
- High Schools are closed to in-person learning
- Colleges and universities are closed to in-person learning
- All organized sports (except for professional)
- Movie theaters
- Bowling Centers
- Ice skating rinks
- Indoor water parks
- Bingo Halls
- Group fitness classes
The reason for people like McGhee's confusion is that there are several other businesses allowed to remain open:
- Hair salons, Barber Shops, other personal services
- Restaurants and bars (for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery only)
- Preschool through 8th grade
- Retail businesses
- Manufacturing & construction
- Parks and outdoor recreation
- Professional sports (without spectators)
- Public transit