DETROIT — Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Monday that will temporarily shut down bars and restaurants to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
The closure impacts restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, taverns, brewpubs, distilleries, clubs, movie theaters, indoor and outdoor performance venues, gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, spas, and casinos.
It will take effect at 3 p.m. Monday, March 16. Under the order, restaurants can still serve customers through takeout and delivery options. Restaurants may allow five people inside at a time to pick up orders, as long as they are six feet apart from each other.
The restrictions will remain in place until Monday, March 30 at 11:59 p.m.
“This disease is a challenge unlike any we’ve experienced in our lifetimes,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Fighting it will cause significant but temporary changes to our daily lives."
Whitmer said the state is taking aggressive action now to reduce the risk of the state's health care system becoming overwhelmed.
"This is about saving lives," Whitmer went on to say. "Michiganders are tough and we are going to get through this, but it will require everyone doing their part. That means making smart choices and not putting yourself or others at risk by going out in public unless it is absolutely necessary."
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued the following statement in support of Whitmer’s executive order, stating the shut down is meant to protect Michiganders.
"My thoughts today are with the workers and businesses in our food and hospitality industries. It is heartbreaking that an industry built on service to others must be shut down to help protect and keep safe the families they call their customers and friends," Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement Monday.
"In an effort to help them through this difficult and unexpected shutdown, I am asking our partners in the state and federal legislature to look for ways to help alleviate the financial impact of this shutdown," Nessel said.
Kent County issued an order Sunday that required food service establishments, gyms and venues to operate at 50% capacity through April 5. Health care facilities, grocery stories, food pantries and long term care facilities were excluded from the public health order. Oakland and Ingham Counties issued similar orders this weekend limiting occupancy loads to 50% in various facilities.
As of Monday, March 16 at 8:15 a.m. there are more than 50 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan. The state saw it's largest spike yet in the number of cases confirmed Sunday, including the first child case reported in Oakland County.
The CDC says patients with a confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- Shortness of breath
The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
Have more questions about COVID-19? We asked some experts.
Here's more COVID-19 covered from 13 ON YOUR SIDE:
- Whitmer signs order enhancing restrictions on price gouging
- Evidence of coronavirus community spread in Michigan, health official says
- Chick-fil-A to temporarily close dining room seating over coronavirus
- Scholastic offers free online classes for your kids to learn during school closures
- 'It's getting worse': United Airlines to cut flights 50%
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