Michigan to loosen capacity limits for businesses

Coronavirus

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the further loosening of Michigan’s coronavirus restrictions, easing capacity limits in restaurants and a host of other businesses while also allowing for larger indoor and outdoor gatherings.

The revised state health department order will take effect Friday and last through April 19.

The state also said families will immediately be able to visit nursing homes after being tested for COVID-19, unless the facility has had an infection within the previous 14 days. Visitations had been automatically prohibited in counties with high infection rates.

Restaurants and bars – now limited to 25% capacity inside – will have a 50% restriction. A 10 p.m curfew will shift to 11 p.m.

Retail stores will have a 50% capacity limit, up from 25%. Gyms’ capacity will be 30% instead of 25%. Venues such as movie theaters, bowling alleys, banquet halls, stadiums and arenas will also be able to have more people. A cap on indoor residential gatherings will be loosened slightly, to no more than 15 people from three households instead of 10 from two households.

“We’re doing this incrementally, but these are all the places where we can safely do more,” Whitmer said Tuesday at a news conference.

“The increased capacity limits outlined in this order will still give us the ability to protect public health as we carefully track variants and continue leading with science and data,” she said.

The Whitmer administration monitors COVID-19 case rates, testing positivity rates and hospital capacity when deciding whether to tighten or ease restrictions.

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