Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) has extended the lockdown of the Michigan restaurant amid the coronavirus pandemic and increased her original “three-week break” to twelve long weeks.
Whitmer extends restaurant lockdown
Whitmer announced Thursday that it would extend its mandatory personal dining closings in restaurants and bars until at least February 1.
“The combined efforts we’ve made to keep our families, frontline workers and small business owners safe are working,” Whitmer said, according to NBC6.
Whitmer announced this “hiatus” back in November and this is the third time she has extended it.
“While our percentage positivity rate has increased slightly, our cases per million have plateaued and more hospital beds are becoming available,” she said. “Today we are confident that MDHHS [Michigan Department of Health and Human Services] can override some of the previously existing protocols. “
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“We are reopening cautiously because caution helps save lives,” MDHHS director Robert Gordon told reporters.
“The new regulation allows for group exercise and non-contact sports, always with masks and social distancing, as it is not that easy to get off in winter and exercise and physical activity are important for physical and mental health,” he continued. “We’re glad we got through the holidays without a huge surge in numbers, but there are worrying signs of the new numbers, too.”
Restaurants fire back
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However, the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA) has already shot back at Whitmer for extending that lockdown for the third time.
“The continuation of this hiatus by the unplanned governor – now extended to 75 days – is unprecedented in the nation in terms of the unwillingness or inability to take control of a decimated industry and workforce,” said Justin Winslow, President and CEO of MRLA made a statement.
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“There are more than 100,000 unemployed hotel workers and thousands of small operators on the verge of bankruptcy, all waiting for hope and direction, and again it never came,” he added.
“This is unacceptable and we should all be asking for more accountability,” Winslow continued. “Michigan is the only remaining nationwide dining room closure with no discernible, data-driven pathway to reopen and fully reintegrate into the economy.”
Whitmer has become notorious among many for enacting some of the strictest. It remains to be seen if she’ll be extending her bans for the fourth time next month.
This piece was written by James Samson on January 15th, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used with permission.
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