Michigan's three-week COVID-19 restrictions kick in
LANSING, Mich. - Michigan's three-week pause on business and school operations, tighter gathering limits, and suspension of organized sports are now in effect.
The proverbial switch to the state's COVID-19 lockdown flipped at 12:01 a.m.
Under the new orders, in-person learning in high schools, indoor service at bars and restaurants, movie theaters, casinos, organized sports, and arcades will all be closed.
The decision to do so was announced Sunday evening and brought about a similar chorus of criticism from business leaders and lawmakers in the state legislature. Many worry any variation of a second shutdown will freeze up any progress the state's economy had made after the first series of lockdowns.
On Tuesday, the restaurant and lodging association filed a lawsuit against the health department over restrictions to restaurants, arguing data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services shows very few outbreaks of the coronavirus have occurred in restaurants, where capacity limits have already been greatly reduced.
Plaintiffs are urging a judge to order an emergency injunction to halt the order.
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Among the most important changes is a reduction in gathering sizes. Health experts and hospital CEOs say one of the likeliest sources of transmission is in small-to-medium group settings. COVID-19 is now being contracted by members of the same family over dinner tables, rather than in crowded bars and parties.
This presents a particular problem with the holiday Thanksgiving coming just around the corner. Among the most popular events for families to gather during, it could supercharge an already spiking caseload of new coronavirus cases. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday that gatherings between members of two households of up to 10 people were allowed for the holiday.
Here's what else is allowed for the next few weeks:
- 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
As a reminder here is what is 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