Indoor dining at bars, restaurants to resume Feb. 1

Coronavirus

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Bars and restaurants across Michigan can reopen for indoor dining at 25% capacity starting Monday, Feb. 1.

The new order issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity with up to 100 people. Tables must be six feet apart with no more than six people at a table. Bars and restaurants must close by 10 p.m. Staff must also gather contact information from customers for contact tracing purposes.

The new order, which will be in effect for three weeks until Sunday, Feb. 21, also allows for concessions at casinos, movie theaters and stadiums; personal services requiring mask removal and gatherings of up to 10 people from two households.

MDHHS cited the decline in hospitalizations, COVID-19 case rates and percent positivity for the lifting of some restrictions.

Whitmer allows announced the creation of the MI COVID-19 Safer Dining program which will also restaurants and bars to become certified that it has optimized airflow. More information about the voluntary program can be found on the state’s website.

Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association President Justin Winslow released the following statement about the reopening of indoor dining:

“We welcome the governor’s decision to reopen restaurant dining on February 1 as good, if overdue news. It is now time for this administration to move aggressively towards a more comprehensive reintegration strategy, which includes prioritizing vaccination for the broader hospitality industry and establishing clear metrics for phased reopening to 100 percent capacity of indoor dining. The hospitality industry and its sizable workforce has suffered far worse than its peers from this pandemic, losing nearly 3,000 restaurants and employing 200,000 fewer workers than a year prior.  It also stands to gain the most from a proficient and expedited vaccination schedule, which is why we contend that there is no more important step the governor can take to get Michigan’s economy back on track than restoring public confidence in Michiganders ability to safely dine and travel.” 

FRIDAY DATA UPDATE

State health officials on Friday announced 2,157 more cases of the virus had been confirmed in Michigan and 17 more associated deaths recorded.

Michigan has now confirmed a total of 546,468 cases of the virus since it was first detected in the state in March 2020 and recorded 14,070 deaths.

On Thursday, labs in Michigan tested 43,532 samples for the virus and 2,208 were positive, a rate of 5.07%.

The number of positive tests is not the same as the number of new cases because people may be tested more than once. Additionally, testing numbers are from a single calendar date, while the number of new cases lists the increase since the last time the state compiled the data; these two time frames do not match up precisely.

Kent County confirmed 150 more cases for a total of 45,492 and recorded one more death for 577 total.

Several other West Michigan counties also recorded additional deaths:

  • Calhoun County: One more death for 195 total; 7,578 total confirmed cases since March 2020.
  • Ionia County: One more death for 57 total; 3,819 total cases.
  • Kalamazoo County: One more death for 257 total; 12,250 total cases.
  • Newaygo County: One more death for 40 total; 2,445 total cases.
  • Ottawa County: One more death for 288 total. 19,594 total cases.
  • St. Joseph County: One more death for 68 total; 3,829 total cases.

Van Buren County’s death count was revised down by one to 80. This has not been uncommon as cases are double-checked and sometimes moved between jurisdictions. Van Buren County has had 4,363 confirmed cases of the virus.

Wayne County, home to Detroit and hit hardest by the virus, recorded 306 more cases for a total of 88,436. Its death toll was revised down by one to 3,692. Oakland County has had 60,351 total cases (257 more than the previous day) and 1,736 deaths (revised down by two). Macomb County has had 51,891 cases (217 more) and 1,698 deaths (two more).

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