No more in-person instruction at high schools and colleges, indoor dining, and closing theaters.
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Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shut down Michigan earlier this year because of COVID-19. The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in October that she lacks the authority to issue these shutdowns.
Whitmer doesn’t care because she is closing down Michigan again right before the holidays.
It seems Whitmer found a way around the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling. The order comes from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Michigan’s public health code gives the state’s health department permission to “‘prohibit the gathering of people for any purpose’ and to ‘establish procedures” to ensure the “continuation of essential public health services and enforcement of health laws.'”
From The Detroit News:
The new policies will temporarily halt in-person instruction at high schools and colleges, indoor dine-in service at restaurants and bars, and high school athletics as well as close some businesses, including movie theaters, bowling alleys and casinos.
The restrictions, imposed through a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services order, will take effect Wednesday and be in place until they end on Dec. 8. Under the order, indoor residential gatherings will be limited to two households at any one time.
“The situation has never been more dire,” Whitmer said Sunday. “We are at the precipice, and we need to take some action.”
Restaurants can offer take-out and have people dine outdoors. But it’s Michigan. The highs in Detroit this week will be in the 40s and high 20s/low 30s at night.
Whitmer urged people to make the “right choice” and avoid a large gathering during Thanksgiving.
The order allows some places to stay open:
- Childcare centers
- Hair salons
- Preschool through eighth-grade schools
- Outdoor recreation areas
- Funerals can have up to 25 people
This is only the beginning for Michigan. You know Whitmer is already thinking of ways to shut down the places that can remain open.
Earlier this month, Whitmer told restaurants to collect private information from customers for contact tracing purposes. But like this one, it also came from the health department.
Health Department Director Robert Gordon told the citizens to wear masks in public places. He also lowered gathering sizes to 50 from 500 and told restaurants to only sit six people at a table.
Republican lawmakers spoke up after Whitmer’s demand to collect information. They’re still mad:
Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, said Whitmer did not include advice from lawmakers in her new restrictions.
“We are disappointed that Gov. Whitmer chose to go it alone, again,” Shirkey said Sunday. “The Senate Republicans will continue working with our doctors and the medical community on ways we can combat this virus and are ready to work with the governor when she decides to work as a team to fight this virus.”
In the GOP-controlled House, Republicans “stand ready to act in a bipartisan way when the governor decides it is worth her time,” Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, said Sunday. “Until then, we are still reviewing the details of this order like everyone else.”
The restaurant business is also losing more patience with Whitmer:
But Justin Winslow, CEO and president of the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association, said his organization was “profoundly disappointed” by the new order.
“While this decision will absolutely lead to a catastrophic economic fallout, the human toll on restaurant owners and their employees will be dramatically worse than what Director Gordon is attempting to mitigate through this order based upon the department’s own transmission data,” Winslow said.
Whitmer’s initial stay-at-home order took effect on March 24, 236 days ago. She began easing that policy in early June by loosening restrictions on the operations of businesses and workplaces and allowing larger outdoor gatherings.
Whitmer said the new restrictions were necessary to try to get the virus under control.
“It’s going to be a tough winter,” she said.
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