Expanded capacities for restaurants, gyms, entertainment venues coming Friday; Gov questioned about Gordon agreement
In a press conference today Governor Whitmer announced a loosening of COVID related restrictions that includes allowing restaurants to serve 50% of their capacity up to 100 guests. Public meetings can resume in person meetings with up to 25 people allowed and larger outdoor events up to 300 people are now permitted under the new order.
Changes also mean retail establishments can open to 50% and indoor stadiums and arenas can allow up to 375 people. Outdoor entertainment and recreational facilities may host up to 1,000 patrons.
Other details are here: Gatherings and Mask Order
Nursing home visitations have opened up and other in house restrictions are also being lifted. Here are those changes per the new order now in effect.
With all residents at skilled nursing homes having been offered their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and a vast majority having had their second dose, the Residential Care Facilities Order goes into effect immediately. The order encourages communal dining and group activities for residents and allows indoor and outdoor visitation in all counties regardless of county risk level. Visitation is allowed as long as the facility has not had a new COVID-19 case in the last 14 days and all indoor visitors ages 13 and older are subject to rapid antigen testing. Testing will help keep residents, staff and families safe while allowing for visitation and an increased quality of life for residents. Adult foster care homes licensed for 12 or fewer residents, hospice facilities, substance use disorder residential facilities and assisted-living facilities are encouraged to implement visitor and staff testing protocols.
Visitors will be required to wear face masks or other personal protective equipment when required by the facility at all times. In general, visitors will need to maintain six feet from residents.
During the Q&A portion of the press conference the Governor was questioned about the separation agreement with former MDHHS Director Robert Gordon that reportedly included him receiving $155,000 while agreeing to drop any claims against the state, though no claims were specified.
While stating there was nothing wrong with his performance as Director she added , “He submitted his resignation and I accepted it.” before fending off further questions by referencing the separation agreement.
Gordon resigned in January.
And for the stats behind the loosening up?
MDHHS had been closely monitoring three metrics for stabilization or declines over the past several weeks. As with other states, Michigan’s metrics are mixed. The presence of more infectious variants, such as the B 1.1.7 variant, threatens our progress in control of the epidemic and MDHHS will be monitoring data closely. In recent days: