Gov. Whitmer Announces New Epidemic Orders, Loosening Restrictions
With the state’s COVID-19 numbers either declining or plateauing, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced major changes to the epidemic orders, loosening the tight restrictions on many sectors.
Over the past few months Michigan has seen its hospitalization rate, COVID-19 case rates and death rates decreased. During that time, Michigan has stuck out with high restrictions compared to neighboring states but now Governor Whitmer says the numbers are at a point where she is comfortable with loosening many restrictions.
“Today we are announcing that restaurants and bars can operate at 50% capacity,” said Whitmer at the news conference.
Along with bars and restaurants increasing to 50% capacity, so can retail shops. Gyms, entertainment centers and sporting events are also seeing caps relaxed. In a second order, families can meet with loved ones in nursing homes again.
These new orders go into effect Friday March 5th and are scheduled to run until April 19th.
Many say it’s not enough but it’s a step in the right direction. Whitmer says the state must take it slow to avoid another spike.
“We must, and we will, be the state that beat the damn virus,” said Whitmer.
Despite the announcement, when the news conference turned to questions, Whitmer was pressed about former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon, his resignation, his separation payment of more than $150,000 and the agreement of both sides to stay quiet on the subject.
Whitmer said these agreements are common and not an attempt to hide anything.
“There were not any improprieties with Director Gordon‘s work,” said Whitmer, “It’s simply that he tendered his resignation and I accepted it.”
Below you can find infographics and details on the new orders.