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Michigan restaurants remain closed to indoor dining, but other restrictions end

Current COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan as of Jan. 13, 2021.
Current COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan as of Jan. 13, 2021.(source: State of Michigan)
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 12:19 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Michigan restaurants officially will remain closed for indoor dining, but state health officials are removing more COVID-19 restrictions beginning this weekend.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated its epidemic order on Wednesday allowing indoor group exercise classes and non-contact sports to resume. Face coverings and social distancing are required for both activities.

“We are reopening cautiously because caution is working to save lives,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Robert Gordon. “The new order allows group exercise and non-contact sports, always with masks and social distancing, because in the winter it’s not as easy to get out and exercise and physical activity is important for physical and mental health.”

However, indoor dining at restaurants will remain closed for at least two more weeks. Restrictions continue on indoor gatherings, as well.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hopes state health officials can allow restaurants to reopen indoor dining on Feb. 1 with continued COVID-19 prevention measures. Those would include wearing face coverings, strict capacity limits and mandatory curfews ordering them to close.

Whitmer said more information on the restaurant reopening measures will be released over the next two weeks. The reopening would depend on continued positive trends in Michigan’s COVID-19 statistics.

“Michigan is once again standing out as a nationwide leader in fighting this virus, and we must continue working to keep it that way,” Whitmer said.

Gordon said the state is not seeing a steep increase in COVID-19 illnesses and hospitalizations after the holidays, but positive trends in statistics are starting to change.

“We are glad that we made it through the holidays without a big increase in numbers, but there are also worrying signs in the new numbers,” he said. “We need to remain focused and continue to see declines in hospitalizations and to bring case rates and percent positivity down by doing what we know works.”

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