Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued amended orders on Wednesday to limit indoor gatherings, while setting a reopening date for Detroit’s casinos, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state.
Indoor gatherings, bars
The amended order requires statewide indoor gatherings to be limited to 10 people. It also orders that bars in every region, including those in regions 6 and 8, must close for indoor service if they earn more than 70% of their gross receipts from sales of alcoholic beverages.
Whitmer had already closed indoor service at bars in most of the state back on July 1. The new order just includes Northern Michigan regions.
The changes come as Michigan deals with growth of COVID-19. The state’s 7-day new case average is at its highest point since mid-May. Much of the growth has been tied to “super-spreader” events, including, for example, a house party in Saline, an indoor wedding in Southgate and an outdoor party at Torch Lake.
Additionally, under the new orders, Detroit casinos will also be allowed to open on Aug. 5, but their occupancy will be limited to 15% capacity.
Casinos must also, among other things, conduct a daily entry screening protocol for customers and employees, temperature screening. Casinos must require patrons to wear a face covering, except while eating or drinking or for identification purposes.
Detroit’s three casinos have been closed since March. The city has been pushing the state to allow the casinos to reopen. Casinos provide big tax revenue for the city.
MGM Resorts released their reopening plan in May, which includes screening, distancing, enhanced sanitization and air ventilation improvements.
“As we see COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Michiganders cannot afford to drop our guard. We must take every step possible to save lives, protect the brave men and women on the front lines, and avoid overwhelming our healthcare system while we continue to combat COVID-19,” said Governor Whitmer. “After seeing a resurgence in cases connected to social gatherings across the state, we must further limit gatherings for the health of our community and economy. By taking these strong actions, we will be better positioned to get our children back into classrooms and avoid a potentially devastating second wave.”
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