State extends COVID shutdown for restaurants

The new orders - extended through January 15 - will allow schools and many entertainment venues to reopen.

COVID-19 restrictions set to expire on Sunday will instead last until mid-January under orders issued Friday by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

But not all orders are being extended. The restriction on indoor service at bars and restaurants will continue until January 15. Conversely, high schools and colleges will be allowed to resume in-person classes when they start back up after the holidays.

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Movie theaters, bowling alleys, and casinos will also be allowed to reopen Monday morning with the exception that they will not be permitted to serve food or drinks.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the extension during a news conference Friday.

“We’ve got to do everything we can to avoid a surge in cases after the holidays – just like we did for Thanksgiving,” Whitmer said. “As I’ve said before, the health of our people and the health of our economy go hand in hand.”

New cases of the coronavirus have been in decline since MDHHS issued the first COVID-19 restrictions of the fall on November 18. However, the state hasn’t returned to the low levels of infections seen before school resumed in August.

Daily death counts have also soared like never before. More than 3,800 people have died from COVID-19 since November 1, making up more than a third of the total deaths in Michigan since March.

You can read more on Bridge Michigan.

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