Governor Announces Updates to COVID-19 Restrictions Effective on Feb. 1January 22, 2021
The updated order will remain in place until Feb. 21, to allow for further evaluation of how COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are progressing. Since the shutdown began on Nov. 18, there has been a significant drop in the key metrics the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is using to develop restrictions.
“The pause has worked. The efforts we have made together to protect our families, frontline workers, and hospitals have dramatically reduced cases and we have saved lives. Now, we are confident that starting Feb. 1, restaurants can resume indoor dining with safety measures in place,” Gov. Whitmer said in a statement. “Michigan continues to be a national leader in fighting this virus, and we must continue working to keep it that way. One of the most important things Michiganders can do is to make a plan to get the safe and effective vaccine when it’s available to you. And as always, mask up and maintain six feet of social distancing. We will end this pandemic together.”
There is one major caveat for restaurants in the order. It expires on Feb. 21 and could be altered depending on the spread of a highly-contagious variant of the coronavirus that has been identified in Washtenaw County and how well vaccinations are going next month.
Key Provisions of the New Order
- MDHHS Director Robert Gordon’s order sets a maximum of 100 people inside bars and restaurants, which were previously limited to 50% of normal fire code capacity from June to mid-November.
- Allows concessions at casinos, movie theaters, and stadiums. Further, beginning today, stadiums can allow up to 500 people at venues that seat more than 10,000. Stadiums that seat fewer than 10,000 are limited to 20% capacity or 250 people.
What it Means for Chamber Members
Lifting the ban on indoor dinning is good news for Michigan, for restaurants around the state, and our members. There is still a lot of work that the state needs to take to support businesses deeply affected by the Governor’s restrictions. The state must do everything it can to distribute vaccines more effectively. The next few months will be critical for our state’s economy and small businesses. Direct support and clear guidance from MDHHS and the Governor are necessary for a robust recovery.
State of the Pandemic
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive reported out key metrics in the pandemic.
- The daily rate of new cases per million residents has fallen from 740 in mid-November to 225.
- The state recorded its lowest daily COVID-19 testing positivity rate — 4.88% since before restrictions went into place.
- Hospitalizations continue to fall throughout the state.