Michigan businesses fear restrictions as COVID numbers spike

Coronavirus cases have sharpest rise since December

Michigan business owners fear more restrictions; Gov. Whitmer says we're not there yet
Michigan business owners fear more restrictions; Gov. Whitmer says we're not there yet

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she’s not actively considering new restrictions as COVID cases continue to surge in the state.

March 26, 2021: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 647,899; Death toll now at 16,004

For businesses operating at 50% capacity, the rise in numbers is cause for concern.

“I mean as far as the numbers going up, it’s scary,” said Nick Waligora, manager at Pitaya. “No one wants to hear that, especially with the vaccine being circulated.”

Speaking at the Michigan Chronicle’s Pancakes and Politics event Thursday, Whitmer pointed out many have made masks and social distancing a part of their routine.

“Here’s the thing that’s different than the spring surge or even the fall surge: We now know a lot more about our common enemy COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “And so we’ve been able to take a more nuanced attack on keeping people safe and re-engaging sectors of our economy.”

And when it comes to vaccine distribution, 3.6 million Michiganders have had at least one shot and 16.5% of our population has had both.

“As far cases are going up, the number of vaccinated people are also going up,” said Joel Padilla.

Padilla said his family and staff at Taqueria El Nacimiento in Detroit have been fully vaccinated. While safety is paramount, he’s hoping capacities won’t be reduced.

“50% of our staff is pretty much out of work cause waitresses depend on tables,” Padilla said.

He believes the focus should be on boosting vaccine distribution, rather than increasing restrictions.

READ: Michigan COVID-19 vaccinations: How to find appointments, info on phases

“As long as we’re moving forward with vaccinating everyone so we can reach herd immunity, go back to normal and we can get back to reality,” Waligora agreed.

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.