Michigan loosens COVID restrictions

State leaders to raise capacity limits on restaurants, allow nursing home visitors, and make other changes to COVID restrictions.

On Tuesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a raft of changes to COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan – ones that are likely to make many people happy.

Changes that affect restaurants, bars, casinos, and a slew of other businesses will go into effect on Friday.

What Happened: The governor told reporters that state health officials are following three metrics in making decisions around what to allow and what to restrict in Michigan:

  • Hospitalization rates
  • COVID-19 infection rates
  • Positivity rates

All three had been declining steadily for several months prior to the past few days. Recent days have seen small increases in all three measurements, but health officials decided the numbers – combined with rising vaccination rates – made loosening restrictions feasible.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

New Rules: The revised restrictions affect numerous businesses and activities.

Effective immediately, people will be able to visit their loved ones in nursing homes. There are still limits: Visitors will have to wear masks, maintain distance, and must be tested for the coronavirus prior to visiting. Only two people will be allowed to visit at a time.

Beginning Friday, restaurants will be allowed to serve people indoors up to 50% capacity. At the moment, restaurants are capped at 25% capacity. Additionally, the curfew has been extended by an hour to 11pm.

Also beginning Friday, casinos and gyms will be allowed to admit people up to 30% capacity, retail businesses will be allowed 50% capacity, and stadiums will have their limits raised to 375 people or 750 people depending on the size of the venue.

We won five Michigan Press Association awards, thanks to you!

Click here to see which ones

The new rules also impact public and private gatherings:

  • Indoor private gatherings will be limited to 15 people from 3 households
  • Outdoor private gatherings will be limited to 50 people with no restriction on the number of households
  • Indoor public gatherings will be allowed to have up to 25 people
  • Outdoor public gatherings will allow up to 300 people

Not everything changed: Masks are still required for sports. Businesses like gyms and restaurants must maintain lists of customers. And the state is still requesting that people who can, should work from home.

You can read more on MLive.

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