Northern Michigan to reopen this weekend

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that businesses in most northern Michigan counties can reopen for business this weekend.

“Some regions of the state have just not been hit as hard by COVID-19,” she said during her daily press briefing Monday. “And they are in a better position to begin phasing in sectors of their economy.”

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

There are 32 counties that will be allowed to reopen. That includes all of the upper penninsula and 17 counties in the northern lower penninsula. Those counties have seen a fraction of the COVID-19 cases that southern parts of the state have dealt with.

That reopening does come with some important caveats though. Bars and restaurants will only be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Social gatherings must be limited to ten people.

Shops and offices will also be allowed to reopen, but hotels and vacation rentals are not. That comes during what would normally be a major holiday weekend.

Nonetheless, northern Michigan public health officials are bracing for a potential increase in COVID-19 cases.

“As we’re out and about in the community more, we will see more cases,” said Michelle Klein, the director of personal health for the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department in an article in Bridge Magazine.

You can read the full executive order here.

The average story costs NowKalamazoo $400 to produce. Donate to fund stories like this.