MARQUETTE, Mich., Jan. 22, 2020 — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced this morning that restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen for indoor dining beginning Feb. 1, but will be subject to a 25 percent capacity limit and 10 p.m. curfew. The updated order is scheduled to remain in place until Feb. 21. In response, state Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette) had the following to say:

“Let’s be honest — most restaurants will not open up at 25 percent. Pictured Rocks broke their record this summer, having over a million visitors with people coming from all over the country, and indoor dining at restaurants remained open at 50 percent for months with no major, consistent outbreaks. We used regional data on infection rates and hospital capacity rates to make decisions, monitoring the data daily within each region. It was transparent and even if people disagreed, they could still point to local health department data.

“Fast forward to today, and we have been told during the daily briefings that the state is using medical studies from around the world to make restaurant closure decisions in Michigan. After speaking with MDHHS Director Robert Gordon last week, I asked for the studies they were using but never received them. I asked what infection rate they were aiming for in order to partially reopen restaurants, but they didn’t have one. The consistency and transparency of using regional infection rates and hospital capacity rates this summer to make decisions regarding our restaurants appears to have been thrown out the door. It’s hard to argue that the way decisions are being made about restaurant indoor dining closures now aren’t political. With the resignation of MDHHS Director Robert Gordon late today, I am hopeful the new director will go back to using regional infection rates and hospital capacity rates when making decisions that so drastically impact our businesses and communities.”


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