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Chippewa County Commissioners Ask Gov. Whitmer to Open Businesses Immediately

Restaurants are set to open back up to dine-in service on February first, but Chippewa County is urging Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to allow them to open immediately. The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Wednesday to send them a message asking that they be allowed to do so.

County Commissioner Scott Shackleton said it doesn’t make sense that other states have opened up before Michigan. “At this point it just doesn’t make sense anymore that we’re closed,” he said. “Wisconsin is open for dining—in house dining. Indiana is, Ohio is, Minnesota is, and here we sit closed up tight.”

Commissioner Shackleton said the county has had one of the lowest infection rates across the state, and elected officials should have a say in lockdown procedures. “We in Michigan send our representatives and our senators to Lansing to represent us, and they’ve been largely left out of this process, and we would like their voices to be involved also.”

Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Don Gerrie agrees 100 percent. “We do elect local representatives from our districts for a reason,” he said. “They’re closer to us. They understand us. They live in our district and we talk to them on a frequent basis.”

The Michigan Department of Heath and Human Services responded with this statement, “We are pleased that our pause has helped bring COVID under control in Michigan, which is why we announced last week that we’re looking to reopen indoor dining at restaurants under our next order, starting on February 1. With the discovery of the new variant in Michigan over the weekend, we continue to proceed with cautious reopening. More information will be announced tomorrow.”

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