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17 things that are still allowed during Michigan’s three-week COVID-19 pause

Michigan tightens COVID-19 regulations amid rising case number

A hair stylist. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP)
A hair stylist. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP) (PA)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan officials specified 17 segments of the state that will remain open during the three-week pause that includes many new restrictions due to COVID-19.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer included indoor dining, in-person learning for college and high schools and much more when announcing what would be shut down from Wednesday (Nov. 18) through Dec. 8.

Here are 17 segments of the state that will still be allowed:

  1. Indoor gatherings between two households and with no more than 10 people.
  2. Small outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people.
  3. Retail.
  4. Preschool through eighth grade (local district choice).
  5. Childcare.
  6. Manufacturing, construction and other work that is impossible to do remotely.
  7. Public transit.
  8. Hair salons and other personal services.
  9. Barber shops.
  10. Gyms.
  11. Pools (for individual exercise only).
  12. Restaurants (for outdoor dining, takeout and delivery only).
  13. Bars (for outdoor dining, takeout and delivery only).
  14. Professional sports (without spectators).
  15. Parks and outdoor recreation
  16. Funerals (up to 25 people).
  17. Health care.

READ: COVID-19 exhaustion at hospitals: ‘We got through first surge on adrenaline, now it’s a marathon’

On Saturday, Michigan reported 7,072 new COVID-19 cases and 65 additional deaths, bringing the state totals up to 251,813 cases and 7,994 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Michigan reported a single-day record 8,516 new cases Friday.

MDHHS orders

MDHHS has the authority to issue these orders during the pandemic, and has been doing so since the Michigan Supreme Court struck down the law Whitmer was using to issue her executive orders.

Whitmer had previously been issuing restrictions without the approval of the Republican-led Legislature, but now the orders fall to MDHHS.

During her Thursday press briefing, Whitmer and Dr. Joneigh Khladun, chief medical executive of MDHHS, painted a harrowing picture of Michigan’s current COVID-19 situation.

Whitmer urged residents to follow COVID-19 safety protocols during the Thanksgiving season by celebrating only with people who live in their own household.

She also outlined six common mistakes Michiganders are making that’s resulting in the spread of the virus. Click here to read about those mistakes.

Hospital leaders concerned

Earlier Thursday morning, leaders from Michigan’s major hospital systems came together for a virtual discussion about their concerns.

John Fox, the president and CEO of Beaumont Health, said community behavior is what’s driving the spread of the virus. He and other state health care leaders are concerned about what’s ahead for hospitals if the trends don’t reverse.

“If we don’t do it, there’ll be all sorts of consequences for our communities that we don’t want to go through,” Fox said. “We don’t want to go back into the spring of this year, when it really was getting to be a very difficult situation. The health care system can capsize if you don’t keep it under control.”

They all weighed in on whether stricter government COVID-19 rules were inevitable as cases spike in Michigan.

“If doing the right thing and using ration and science isn’t sufficient, then there may be other steps that end up being necessary,” said Wright Lassiter, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System.

Brian Peters, the CEO of the Michigan Heath and Hospital Association, said one of the main problems with the spread of COVID-19 statewide is that people aren’t convinced certain safety measures are necessary, so they aren’t going to follow them.

“Regardless of what the law says, if people aren’t convinced that doing something is the right thing, then they’re not going to do it when no one is watching,” Peters said.


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