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Governor Whitmer announced a raft of changes to Michigan’s restrictions on indoor gatherings in a news conference this afternoon. While they are very incremental in nature, they will no doubt com as relief to both businesses and individuals.

Restaurants, bars, nursing homes, retail establishments, gyms, casinos, and sports venues all got varying degrees of relief from limits on capacity and access that had been in place. Most relevant to the island is the change that allows restaurants and bars to jump from 25% to 50% occupancy and to remain open until 11pm rather than 10. Also changed is the capacity for retail operations.  That’s moved from 30% to 50%. 

Another big change is to allow indoor visits at nursing facilities. They have been banned for almost a year.  Under the new rules, up to two family members can visit. But, they must be tested first, and social distancing rules still apply.

Other changes include a move from 25% to 30% capacity for casinos and gyms, increases in allowed stadium capacity (now 250 for places with seating up to 10,000 and 750 for places with more than 10,000 seats), a limit of up to 15 people from 3 families at residential gatherings (up from 10 people from two families), a limit of 25 people for indoor non-residential gatherings (up from 10), and a limit of 300 for outdoor non-residential (up from 25).

There was no change in remote working requirements.  Those able to do so are still required to do that, but the govern announced formation of an advisory committee to develop plans for a phased return to offices. The full text of the order making the changes (other than for nursing homes) is here: https://wvbi.biccenter.org/full-text-of-mdhhs-order-relaxing-covid-19-restrictions. The nursing home order is here:  https://wvbi.biccenter.org/full-text-of-new-rules-for-nursing-home-visits.

A prior version of this story first appeared on wvbi.net.