Whitmer expands ban on indoor service at bars to entire state | Michigan Radio
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Whitmer expands ban on indoor service at bars to entire state

Jul 29, 2020

Credit MICHIGAN.GOV

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says beginning Friday, indoor gatherings statewide will be limited to 10 people and bars will be closed for indoor service across the entire state, including in Regions 6 and 8 (the Traverse City area and the Upper Peninsula). 

“As we see COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Michiganders cannot afford to drop our guard. We must take every step possible to save lives, protect the brave men and women on the front lines, and avoid overwhelming our healthcare system while we continue to combat COVID-19,” said Governor Whitmer.

“After seeing a resurgence in cases connected to social gatherings across the state, we must further limit gatherings for the health of our community and economy. By taking these strong actions, we will be better positioned to get our children back into classrooms and avoid a potentially devastating second wave.”  

COVID-19’s resurgence is closely associated with super-spreading events at large social gatherings, often attended by young people. 

An outbreak at a Lansing bar has resulted in 187 infections; more than 50 cases have been linked to a single house party in Saline; and a sandbar party at Torch Lake over the July 4 weekend led to at least 43 confirmed cases.

So starting Friday, bars in every region, including those in regions 6 and 8, must close for indoor service if they earn more than 70% of their gross receipts from sales of alcoholic beverages. 

Justin Winslow is with the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association. He says the order is not a surprise but, "it doesn’t mean the impact isn’t going to be severe here in Michigan. The hospitality industry, restaurants and hotels have been impacted just tremendously, and it is going on for a period that is really unsustainable for this industry.” 

Also under the governor’s orders, Detroit casinos will also be allowed to open on August 5, but their occupancy will be limited to 15% capacity. Casinos must also conduct a daily entry screening protocol for customers and employees, and require patrons to wear a face covering, except while eating or drinking or for identification purposes.

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