Nightside Report March 2, 2021: Michigan loosens COVID restrictions on restaurants, nursing homes; What ATF is doing to combat spike in illegal gun sales in Metro Detroit

Here are tonight’s top stories

Local 4 News at 5 -- March 2, 2021

Michigan restaurant owner reacts to new indoor dining capacity rule

DETROIT – Tuesday’s announcement that Michigan restaurants are able to increase their indoor dining capacity comes as good news for establishments that have now had to deal with two shutdowns since the pandemic started.

“Today (Tuesday), we are announcing that restaurants and bars can operate at 50% capacity. That’s up from 25%” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The long awaited announcement was made Tuesday, with the new change effective March 5. Restaurants will also have a 11 p.m. curfew.

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The latest: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 590,217; Death toll now at 15,558

Metro Detroit weather: Warmest high of the week expected Wednesday

Temperatures jump back above normal then fall right back down, all while we hunt for any sign of a single snowflake or raindrop.

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4 Fast Facts

  • Last year officials saw gun sales surge to a record high. But it’s the illegal gun sales in Metro Detroit that are grabbing the attention of ATF agents. Click here to read more.
  • Manufacturing workers in Detroit can now get a COVID-19 vaccine. Click here to read more.
  • There have been two separate drunk driving incidents involving Detroit firefighters recently. Click here to read more.
  • Questions surrounding the departure of former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director, Robert Gordon, the man Whitmer depended on throughout much of this pandemic are growing. Click here to read more.

Be Informed

Gov. Whitmer announces nursing home visitation to resume in Michigan

Over the past seven weeks, there’s been a decline in key metrics determining where we are with the pandemic.

With the numbers starting to decrease, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Tuesday that visitation at nursing homes will resume.

Click here to read more.

New bill would allow Michigan bars to stay open until 4 a.m.

Bars in big cities like New York, Chicago and Miami can stay open until 4 a.m. and a new bill would put Michigan bars and restaurants in line with that.

The bill is being introduced as a way to help the industry recoup some of the losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan Rep. Ryan Berman said extending closing hours for many bars and restaurants will help restaurants make up for lost time after the pandemic.

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Merck to help manufacture Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

President Joe Biden announced that pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. will help manufacture Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The two competitors are joining together to boost the production of the vaccine. Merck had previously been working on two of its vaccine candidates but stopped that work after early clinical trial data showed a poor immune response.

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Read More

Monday, March 1, 2021 --

Questions about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge

About the Author:

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.