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Whitmer says indoor dining at restaurants has ‘all the different ingredients’ for COVID-19 risk

Governor cites number of different households inside together without masks

A table setting at a restaurant.
A table setting at a restaurant. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said indoor dining at restaurants has “all the different ingredients” for increased COVID-19 risk.

During the governor’s COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, Local 4′s Mara MacDonald asked what it would take for restaurants to be allowed to reopen for indoor dining.

Right now, Michigan is in the middle of a three-week “pause” that, among other restrictions, limits restaurants to delivery, take-out and outdoor dining.

RELATED: Here are 14 changes in effect under Michigan’s new COVID-19 restrictions

Many residents believe restaurants aren’t a common place for the virus to spread. The owners of Andiamo have even called for restaurants to unite against the restrictions if this three-week period is extended beyond Dec. 8.

But Whitmer stood by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services order, arguing restaurants have the potential to contribute to the spread of COVID-19.

“I challenge you to think about even a 10% full restaurant and what that means in terms of how many households are represented there, and inherently unmasked, because people are eating,” Whitmer said. “That’s just, unfortunately, all the different ingredients for a higher risk situation.”

Whitmer said that’s why the MDHHS order targeted places that involve people from different households being inside together.

Earlier in the briefing, the governor was asked whether officials are considering extending the order beyond three weeks. She said it’s too early to make a decision and the numbers next week will reveal whether enough progress has been made.


About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.