“The efforts we have made together to protect our families, frontline workers and small business owners are working,” Whitmer claimed ludicrously, extending the mandated closure of in-person dining at restaurants and bars until at least February 1. The original “pause” had been announced in November; this extension was the third such one.
“While there has been a slight uptick in our percent positivity rate, our cases per million have plateaued and more hospital beds are becoming available. Today, we are confident that MDHHS [Michigan Department of Health and Human Services] can lift some of the protocols that were previously in place,” Whitmer added.
President and CEO Justin Winslow of the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association slammed Whitmer for the lockout. “The governor’s continuation of this pause without a plan — now expanding to 75 days — is without parallel in the nation in terms of its unwillingness or inability to provide leadership to a decimated industry and its workforce.
“There are more than 100,000 unemployed hospitality workers and thousands of small operators on the edge of bankruptcy all waiting for hope and direction, and once again it did not come. This is unacceptable and we should all demand more accountability,” he added. “Michigan stands alone as the only remaining statewide closure of dining rooms without a discernible, data-driven path to reopen and fully reintegrate in the economy.”