COVID-19

COVID restrictions ease – what’s changed

Under orders from state health officials, COVID restrictions are now a little bit less.

Things are a little bit different in Michigan. With the spring surge of the pandemic receding and vaccinations on the rise, state officials lifted some COVID-19 restrictions on June 1.

The biggest change may be around limitations on outdoor gatherings. Under orders announced May 21, all restrictions on outdoor gatherings are over. That means no more capacity limits on outdoor concerts and sporting events.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

More importantly, it means graduation parties can go on without limiting attendees – as long as they’re held outside.

There are also important changes for restaurants. Capacity limits have been raised from 25% to 50%. The 11pm curfew on bars and restaurants has also been lifted.

That’s good news for many businesses that serve food and drinks, although staffing issues continue to present a problem.

“Hiring at this time is difficult because a lot of people are fishing from the same market so there‚Äôs a lot of restaurants reopening, as occupancy goes up everyone needs the same staff,” said Michael Ollinger, the assistant general manager of 600 Kitchen & Bar, in an interview with WWMT.

More changes are on the horizon. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced that all COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted beginning July 1. That includes the much-maligned mask mandate.

You can read more on Bridge Michigan.

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