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Michigan loosens restrictions on restaurants, gatherings as COVID-19 numbers continue to fall

Posted at 9:35 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 21:35:12-05

New guidance out of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is expanding in-person access to indoor dining, entertainment and more.

“Today, I signed updates to two epidemic orders," said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel at a Tuesday press conference, where she was joined by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other state officials. "One allowing for increased capacity limits at some venues, larger residential and non-residential gatherings. And one allowing for visitation at long-term care facilities with testing protocols in place."

The orders will go into effect Friday, increasing indoor dining capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent up to 100 people and extending the nightly curfew to 11 p.m.

Indoor capacity for retail stores, gyms and casinos will be increased and outdoor gatherings up to 300 people will be allowed as long as masking and social distancing are still being practiced.

“When you ease gradually, it gives you time to look at metrics and to look at what’s happening in regards to cases and make decisions accordingly,” Ingham County Health Department Health Officer Linda Vail said.

Here in the greater Lansing area case numbers across Clinton, Eaton, Ingham and Jackson counties are down 37.4 percent and vaccinations are up 23.9 percent compared with last week, according to the state’s data. With the approval of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, counties can anticipate increases in vaccinations.

“We just learned today that we’ll be getting the Johnson and Johnson vaccine,” Vail said.

Mike Krueger owns Crunchy’s, an East Lansing favorite. He joined the governor Tuesday to share what the new guidance means for his business

“We take pride in serving our customers and we are resilient bunch who are adapting and changing no matter what is thrown at us … as we transition from a 25 to 50 percent capacity and a curfew that is 11 o'clock, we are shifting into a sense of normalcy I think all of us is looking forward to,” Krueger said.

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