Not all restaurants ready to reopen despite COVID restrictions being loosened
“Today (Tuesday), we are announcing that restaurants and bars can operate at 50% capacity. READ: Michigan loosens COVID restrictions on restaurants -- here are all the detailsAdWhile some restaurants and bars welcome the news, some say it isn’t worth it. As things stand, this is about restaurants like Red Coat and how much they can handle. He decided the 50% capacity is still too risky and he won’t open for sit-down service yet. READ: New bill would allow Michigan bars to stay open until 4 a.m.READ: Here are the 14 changes to Michigan’s COVID rules: Restaurants, gyms, stadiums, retail, gatherings
Here’s how COVID restrictions for Michigan restaurants are changing today
The COVID-19 restrictions on Michigan restaurants are changing Friday as the state loosens its grip on indoor dining. “I’m proud that we are able to take this positive step without compromising public health,” Whitmer said. Now, all Michigan restaurants and bars can fill up to 50% capacity, with a maximum of 100 people. Though there has been a plateauing of cases over the last week, Michigan had seen a steady decline in case, positivity and hospitalization rate since January. Ad“All of the momentum that we are seeing is possible because we remain committed to following guidelines that protect public health,” Whitmer said.
Michigan restaurant owner reacts to new indoor dining capacity rule
LANSING, Mich. – 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. READ: Michigan loosens COVID restrictions on restaurants -- here are all the detailsAd“It’s encouraging, it’s very encouraging,” said Nikola’s BBQ manager, Velko Milosevich. “I’m just hopeful by summer, things will return to normal. The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association issued a statement on the updated restriction:
Michigan restaurant association proposes plan to increase indoor dining capacity
Frustrated that restaurants are still at 25% capacity for indoor dining, the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA) released a plan to get restaurants back on stable financial ground that uses COVID positivity rates to determine restaurant density. Michigan’s current COVID positivity rate is just over 3%, which according to the plan from MRLA, would allow for 50% density. MRLA CEO Justin Winslow said restaurants that have reopened under the current 25% rule are doing it primarily to remind customers that they are still open. READ: 11 takeaways from Whitmer’s COVID update: Variant spreading, Michigan vaccinations, relief moneyAdAmato said the restaurant is more than a small business to her. “I think it’s time and this industry is owed some more concrete planning from the administration that can be driven by data.”READ MORE:
How the return to indoor dining went for Metro Detroit restaurants
DETROIT – Studies show that eating at restaurants is a high-risk activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Depending on the restaurant, some required temperature checks, contact tracing sign-in sheets and even implemented time limits at tables. Restaurants like Green Dot Stables went from having 14 tables to just having four tables. We’re very adamant about that, very strict, following all the rules,” Teknos said. But in the meantime, they said their customers get it and are very understanding of this new form of indoor dining.
Two shutdowns, partial reopenings: How Michigan restaurants have been handled during COVID pandemic
Restaurants have been the most hotly debated topic of Michigan’s shutdowns throughout the COVID pandemic. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have twice shut down indoor dining, with the most recent ban ending Monday (Feb. 1). Whitmer’s handling of COVID-19 in Michigan in 2020Here’s a look at how restaurants have been handled throughout the pandemic. AdLike the stay-at-home order, this pause allowed customers to order carry-out or delivery, but banned indoor dining at restaurants and bars. Businesses could offer indoor dining, but with winter weather in full force, that wasn’t a realistic option for most.
Michigan restaurants can officially reopen indoor dining today with curfew, other COVID safety restrictions
Michigan restaurants will officially be allowed to resume indoor dining Feb. 1 with a curfew and other COVID-19 safety restrictions in place. Gretchen Whitmer announced the order will allow indoor dining at restaurants, concessions at entertainment venues such as casinos, movie theaters and stadiums, personal services requiring mask removal and non-residential gatherings of up to 10 people from two households. Bars and restaurants have to close by 10 p.m. and contact information must be collected from diners for contact tracing purposes. “Even so, the science is clear that unmasked, indoor activities like dining and drinking are still a source of high risk around COVID-19. AdMore resourcesThe voluntary “MI COVID-19 Safer Dining” program allows food service establishments to become certified by having their ventilation system inspected and submitting their inspection report to the state indicating they are optimizing airflow.
Gov. Whitmer allows Michigan restaurants to reopen with capacity limits, curfew
Most notably, the order allows restaurants to resume indoor dining services on Feb. 1, in addition to allowing movie theaters and casinos to reopen concessions and more. Read: Michigan restaurants can officially reopen Feb. 1 with curfew, other COVID safety restrictionsMichigan business owners, employees and patrons alike have waited months for the good news -- but it doesn’t come without stipulations. Under the new order, restaurants must operate indoor dining services at only 25 percent capacity, sit six people or less at a table and follow a 10 p.m. curfew. More: MDHHS announces next COVID order, revising rules for Michigan restaurants, stadiums, gatheringsThe Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA) is calling the state’s loosened restrictions overdue. Whitmer’s office is hoping that people take the precautions seriously this time around to avoid the need to shut down indoor dining again.
Here are the 8 changes to Michigan COVID restrictions coming next month under new order
The state of Michigan will be under a new COVID-19 order at the start of February, and it will prompt several changes to the restrictions that are currently in place. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced its new order Friday (Jan. 22), and it will go into effect Feb. 1 and last three weeks, until Feb. 21. Click here to read the full details of the new MDHHS order. Here are the eight changes to restrictions that will be in effect :Restaurants and bars can resume indoor dining at 25% capacity and no more than 100 people. Restrictions still in placeThe MDHHS order continues to temporarily pause indoor contact sports and other venues and activities that require close physical contact and mask removal, such as water parks.
MDHHS announces next COVID order, revising rules for Michigan restaurants, stadiums, gatherings
Michigan officials have announced the details of their next COVID-19 order, revising rules for restaurants and bars, entertainment venues, stadiums and gatherings. Restaurants reopen for indoor diningMost notably, Michigan restaurants will officially be allowed to resume indoor dining, with certain safety restrictions in place. Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity with up to 100 people. MDHHS continues to urge families to avoid indoor gatherings or to pick a single other household to interact with regularly. Restrictions still in placeThe MDHHS order continues to temporarily pause indoor contact sports and other venues and activities that require close physical contact and mask removal, such as water parks.
Michigan restaurants can officially reopen Feb. 1 with curfew, other COVID safety restrictions
Michigan restaurants will officially be allowed to resume indoor dining Feb. 1 with a curfew and other COVID-19 safety restrictions in place. The revised restrictions go into effect Feb. 1 and last three weeks, until Feb. 21. Gretchen Whitmer announced the order will allow indoor dining at restaurants, concessions at entertainment venues such as casinos, movie theaters and stadiums, personal services requiring mask removal and non-residential gatherings of up to 10 people from two households. Bars and restaurants have to close by 10 p.m. and contact information must be collected from diners for contact tracing purposes. More resourcesThe voluntary “MI COVID-19 Safer Dining” program allows food service establishments to become certified by having their ventilation system inspected and submitting their inspection report to the state indicating they are optimizing airflow.
Gov. Whitmer activates Michigan National Guard ahead of weekend protest at Capitol
Gretchen Whitmer has activated the Michigan National Guard as the state prepares for a protest this weekend at the Capitol. “The Michigan State Police is leading security efforts in coordination with the Michigan National Guard and other public safety agencies,” spokesperson Tiffany Brown said in an email statement. “It’s not to say there is an impending threat, but simply that we are prepared to respond accordingly.”READ: 13 takeaways from Gov. To her knowledge, there aren’t currently any specific threats, Whitmer said. “I can just say we are prepared if something should arise and hopeful that it does not,” she said.
Michigan gives certain businesses affected by COVID-19 extra time to make tax payments
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan is giving certain businesses, including restaurants, that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic extra time to make tax payments. Restaurants that depend on indoor dining and most entertainment and recreational venues are included in this extension, according to state officials. “Businesses impacted by COVID-19 have made incredible sacrifices to protect their communities, their employees and their customers,” Michigan Gov. On Wednesday, Michigan Whitmer said the state hopes to resume indoor dining at restaurants by Feb. 1, as long as COVID-19 metrics meet state standards. Gordon said indoor dining is inherently risky in terms of spreading COVID-19 because it requires people from different households to remove their masks while indoors.
Michigan ‘prepared to respond accordingly’ if threat is made to state Capitol, Whitmer says
LANSING, Mich. – Members of law enforcement are coordinating with the Michigan National Guard to make sure they’re prepared to respond to any sign of violence at the state Capitol, Gov. “What we are seeing play out across our country right now is deeply concerning,” Whitmer said. “It’s not to say there is an impending threat, but simply that we are prepared to respond accordingly.”READ: 13 takeaways from Gov. To her knowledge, there aren’t currently any specific threats, Whitmer said. “I can just say we are prepared if something should arise and hopeful that it does not,” she said.
Can Michiganders be confident that COVID-19 order won’t be extended beyond Jan. 31?
LANSING, Mich. – After announcing that the COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan would be extended through the end of the month, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was asked how people can be confident there won’t be another extension. Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that the order, which was set to expire Friday (Jan. 15), has been revised and extended until Jan. 31. LATEST: Michigan extends COVID-19 order through end of January, but permits more physical activities“What is going to change between now and Feb. 1 where people can be confident it’s not going to be extended past that, just yet again?” Whitmer was asked. MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said state officials will keep an eye on the case rate, percent positivity and hospitalizations to determine whether restaurants and other segments of the economy can reopen Feb. 1.
20 takeaways from Whitmer’s COO breaking down COVID vaccine distribution in Michigan
Gretchen Whitmer’s chief operating officer and executive lead on the state’s operational response to containing COVID-19, Tricia Foster, spoke about vaccine distribution in the state. Whitmer’s COVID update Wednesday (Jan. 13)Here are 20 takeaways from Foster’s comments:There are over 1,218 registered providers of the COVID-19 vaccine in Michigan. Every dose of the vaccine that Michigan has received has been delivered to a provider, and that provider has scheduled the dose to be administered, Foster said. “I want to be very clear: The state of Michigan is not sitting on doses of vaccine,” she said. “As soon as we get the supply we need, we’ll begin moving closer to our 50,000 shots per day goal,” Foster said.
Michigan’s new COVID order allows more indoor physical activities -- everything you need to know
LANSING, Mich. – When Michigan’s new COVID-19 order goes into effect this weekend, some additional indoor physical activities will be allowed. Four winter contact sports may also begin indoor practices with non-contact activities, MHSAA announced. Swimming and diving will begin Jan. 22 and gymnastics and bowling will begin Jan. 25. Basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling are considered contact sports and may begin non-contact practices Saturday. These are all crucial for Michigan gyms and fitness centers that have been hit hard by the past year’s shutdowns, restrictions and COVID-19-related membership cancellations.
Michigan reports good news and bad news with latest COVID-19 metrics update
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, at a Jan. 13, 2021, COVID-19 briefing. LANSING, Mich. – After Michigan’s most important COVID-19 metrics improved for several weeks in a row, the state’s latest update came with some good news and some bad news. Whitmer’s COVID update Wednesday (Jan. 13)The case rate has increased recently and “may be plateauing,” Khaldun said. This is the first time since mid-November that both the case rate and positivity rate have risen in the same week, according to the state. Khaldun said Michigan, overall, is in a much better place than it was in early November.
If Michigan restaurants reopen next month, there will be ‘strong safety measures in place’
LANSING, Mich. – If Michigan restaurants are allowed to reopen their doors to indoor dining at the beginning of next month, it will be with new and strengthened COVID-19 safety rules, according to state officials. Gretchen Whitmer said the state hopes to resume indoor dining at restaurants by Feb. 1, as long as COVID-19 metrics meet state standards. Whitmer’s COVID update Wednesday (Jan. 13)If they do reopen, restaurants will face increased restrictions, Whitmer said. “We’re working on a path to allow indoor dining at restaurants with safety measures such as mask requirements, capacity limits and a curfew, starting on Feb. 1,” Whitmer said. He said whether or not restaurants actually reopen Feb. 1 will depend on what happens with COVID-19 cases between now and the end of the month.
Michigan board considers authorizing $58.5 million in COVID-19 relief for small businesses
LANSING, Mich. – A Michigan board will hold a special meeting Thursday to consider authorizing another $58.5 million in COVID-19 relief for small businesses, Gov. The money would help Michigan small businesses keep their lights on, pay employees and, in some cases, prepare to reopen when the time comes, according to the state. The Michigan Strategic Fund Board has a special meeting scheduled for Thursday (Jan. 14) to consider the proposal. “It will also include $3.5 million for the Michigan Stages Survival Grant program working with the Michigan Independent Venue and Promoters Association to administer that program,” the governor said Wednesday. The relief is part of the bipartisan stimulus package signed into law last month to help businesses fighting to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michigan relief grant for workers at restaurants, other venues affected by COVID-19 -- what to know
(Photo by Richard Bord/Getty Images)LANSING, Mich. – Michigan has announced the release of employee assistance grants for restaurant employees and entertainment and recreational venue workers who have been financially hurt by COVID-19. Gretchen Whitmer said the program includes specific types of workers whose employment was negatively affected by COVID-19. Employees at entertainment and recreational venues, as well as restaurant workers, are included, she said. These employee assistance grants are designed to help offset some of the financial loss for people struggling due to COVID-19. “Please don’t wait to apply for the grant program, which opens up Friday,” Whitmer said.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer believes $2,000 stimulus checks ‘absolutely necessary’ for struggling Americans
Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday that she believes $2,000 stimulus checks are “absolutely necessary” for struggling Americans as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. “Last month, I called on the federal government to pass a relief bill that included the $2,000 stimulus checks for Americans who are struggling to get by,” Whitmer said. “I still believe that bill is absolutely necessary.”While many Michiganders recently received $600 stimulus checks, some believe that isn’t enough for those in need to get by. Whitmer has long urged legislators to permanently expand unemployment benefits for Michiganders during the pandemic. There’s a 10-day window to apply for the grant: from Jan. 15 through Jan. 25.
Whitmer confirms start of $300 unemployment payments to Michiganders affected by COVID-19
Michiganders have started to receive their $300 unemployment payments, the governor says. Gretchen Whitmer confirmed Wednesday that the $300 unemployment payments have begun going out to Michiganders who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is good news for workers across the state who have lost their jobs as a result of this pandemic,” Whitmer said. Whitmer’s COVID update Wednesday (Jan. 13)She said the state started issuing the payments to around 365,000 claimants over the weekend. The Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments run from Dec. 27, 2020, through March 13, 2021.
13 takeaways from Whitmer’s COVID update: Michigan order extended, restaurants reopening?
MDHHS order extendedMichigan has extended the COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan through the end of January, but the order has been revised to allow more forms of physical activity. Indoor diningWhitmer said the state is aiming to resume indoor dining at restaurants in on Feb. 1. Depending on how COVID-19 cases trend in the next two weeks, restaurants might be able to resume indoor dining with certain restrictions. Meijer chosen as COVID-19 vaccine partnerMichigan has chosen Meijer as the initial pharmacy partner to help the state administer the COVID-19 vaccines. She said she has had conversations with Michigan State Police and the Michigan National Guard, as well as local police in Lansing, about security.
Michigan extends COVID-19 order through end of January, but permits more physical activities
Director Robert Gordon, of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, at a Jan. 13, 2021, COVID-19 briefing. LANSING, Mich. – Officials have extended the COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan through the end of January, but the order has been revised to allow more forms of physical activity. The announcement was made Wednesday by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon, along with Gov. Depending on how COVID-19 cases trend in the next two weeks, restaurants might be able to resume indoor dining with certain restrictions. On Tuesday, the state of Michigan reported 1,994 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 100 additional deaths.
Michigan aims to resume indoor dining at restaurants on Feb. 1, Gov. Whitmer says
Gretchen Whitmer said the state is aiming to resume indoor dining at restaurants in February after a spike in COVID-19 cases late last year sparked a ban of more than two months. Depending on how COVID-19 cases trend in the next two weeks, restaurants might be able to resume indoor dining with certain restrictions. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is once again extending its order that put stricter COVID-19 rules into place throughout the state. By the time restaurants might resume indoor dining Feb. 1, they would have been closed for about 10 and a half weeks. Whitmer, along with Dr. Joneigh Khaldun and Director Robert Gordon, both of MDHHS, has maintained throughout the pause that indoor dining is among the riskiest activities in terms of spreading COVID-19.
Defiant Michigan UP cafe owner told to shut down after serving indoor diners
CALUMET, Mich. – A judge has ordered the shutdown of a cafe in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where customers have been supporting an owner who has defiantly served indoor diners despite coronavirus restrictions. Gretchen Whitmer's administration got a restraining order against Cafe Rosetta in Calumet, a small town in Houghton County. Kristi Painter, a state food scientist, visited the cafe for an undercover exam and observed a busy place with 17 people eating or drinking. Cafe co-owner Amy Heikkinen, a mother of six, said she can't afford to limit her business to carry-out orders. You can’t make me not work.”The restraining order was to be served by Thursday.
Wayne County hands out $500 gift cards to restaurant, service workers affected by pandemic
“But it doesn’t make any sense because I’m not working now.”Hinkley visited Eastern Market Wednesday to pick up a debit card from the Wayne County Cares Program. “This is kind of what I would call Wayne County stimulus package, since the feds haven’t been able to figure out how to get it done,” said Wayne County executive Warren Evans. The money is being given to 12,000 Wayne County residents whose jobs have been impacted by the pandemic. In addition to the Wayne County Cares program, the county devoted resources to support local small businesses and local nonprofits. More information can be found on the Wayne County Cares official website here.
Gov. Whitmer hints at possibility of resuming indoor dining at Michigan restaurants
Michigan restaurants are still fighting to resume indoor dining, which is banned by the state’s COVID-19 order, but Gov. Related stories :Whitmer said she wants to reopen restaurants as soon as she can, but the industry has been on the wrong end of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ restrictions. The owner of Century Bowl, in Waterford Township, said the shutdown order on food and alcohol services at many venues is misguided. Bowling alleys, casinos and other entertainment venues were allowed to reopen Monday, but they can’t serve food or drink concessions. READ: Whitmer commutes sentences for 4 men serving decades in prison for nonviolent crimesPeople aren’t allowed to bowl with anyone other than their families.
Detroit’s MotorCity Casino to reopen Dec. 23 following revised coronavirus restrictions
DETROIT – The MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit is preparing to open its doors to the public on Dec. 23 thanks to loosened coronavirus restrictions announced this week. The MotorCity Casino Hotel will reopen at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 23, officials said. All casino and hotel employees will reportedly be tested for COVID-19 before the reopening date. The revised restrictions are currently in effect until Jan. 15, 2021. More: Here’s everything that’s reopening under Michigan’s revised COVID-19 order
Protesters gather outside of Michigan health director’s home, demand state lifts COVID restrictions
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s health director says that protesters who gathered outside of his Lansing home on Tuesday night to decry the state’s coronavirus restrictions are wasting their time. Read more: Michigan COVID restrictions in effect through Dec. 20: What to knowMichigan’s extended epidemic order is currently scheduled to expire on Sunday, Dec. 20. In a live, public video posted to Facebook Tuesday, protesters can be heard singing Christmas carols and calling on Gordon to lift the state’s restrictions and reopen businesses. On Wednesday, the state of Michigan reported 4,037 new COVID-19 cases and 83 new deaths since Tuesday. The state has reported a total of 446,752 COVID-19 cases and 11,018 deaths since the pandemic began.
Should Michigan extend its COVID restrictions beyond Dec. 8?
In response to rising COVID cases and deaths throughout the U.S., some states are ramping up restrictions to help curb virus spread -- like in California, for instance, where residents are heading into another sweeping lockdown. Update Dec. 7: Michigan COVID restrictions extended through Dec. 20: What to knowUpdate Dec. 7: Michigan hospitals urge state to extend COVID restrictions ‘to see meaningful change’In Michigan, the Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a “three-week pause” in November that bans indoor dining at bars and restaurants, in-person learning at high schools and colleges and more through Dec. 8. As of Dec. 6, Michigan is beginning to see a slowing growth rate of daily new COVID-19 cases following a surge in recent weeks -- but virus deaths are still rising across the state. COVID hospitalizations in Michigan have also been steadily increasing since October, including upticks in critical care and ventilator use. We want to know: Are you in favor of extending Michigan’s current coronavirus restrictions beyond Dec. 8?
Grosse Pointe restaurant owner speaks out in support of Michigan’s restrictions on indoor dining
New coronavirus restrictions went into effect in Michigan on Nov. 17 that prohibit restaurants and bars from offering indoor dining services through Dec. 8, among other restrictions. The owner of Andiamo, Joe Vicari, wrote a letter calling on Michigan restaurants to defy Gov. Vanessa Gonzalez, owner of Grosse Pointe Woods restaurant Garrido’s Bistro, says she’d rather stay closed than risk spreading the virus by reopening too soon. More: Michigan restaurant owners call for compromise in Lansing amid struggle to stay afloatGov. Officials have not yet indicated whether or not the state’s coronavirus restrictions will be extended beyond Dec. 8.
Michigan doctors urge restaurants to keep customers safe from COVID-19 by avoiding rush to reopen
DETROIT – Doctors in Michigan are urging restaurants to help keep people safer by avoiding a rush to reopen. They are asking restaurants to continue the pause on indoor dining to minimize infections. Rosalie and her husband Joe Vicari own the Vicari restaurant group, with high-end restaurants like Joe Muer Seafood, Brownies On The Lake and multiple Andiamo Italian restaurants. READ: Andiamo owners urge Michigan restaurants to defy shutdown order, reopen if ‘3-week pause’ extendsGov. “All of us want people to get back to work and businesses to reopen responsibly, but Mr. Vicari’s call to reopen no matter the health risk is reckless.
Michigan restaurant association files lawsuit against state’s health director to block ban on dine-in service
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA) has filed a lawsuit against Robert Gordon, in his capacity as the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) director, to block the ban on dine-in service. Inc. d/b/a Suburban Inns have joined MRLA in the lawsuit. Starting Wednesday and lasting through Dec. 8, Michigan residents will only be able to order takeout from restaurants, unless outdoor seating is available. That is under the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service’s new COVID-19 rules. READ: Why is indoor dining at Michigan restaurants being shut down for 3 weeks despite fewer outbreaks?
Michigan’s top doctor: In restaurants, wear mask until putting food in mouth, limit talking
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s top medical official said anyone who eats at restaurants should wear a mask until they’re physically putting food in their mouths and limit talking as much as possible. Khaldun spoke about Michigan’s recent rise in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases during Gov. “If you choose to dine indoors, keep your mask on at all times, except when you are actually putting food in your mouth, and limit your talking. Talking without a mask on increases the risk of spread.”She said if there’s a choice between eating at a restaurant or getting takeout, Michiganders should strongly consider the latter. LATEST: Michigan Gov.