Gretchen Whitmer ‘Quietly Extended’ Restaurant Restrictions Until March 29

Chairs are stacked on tables in the empty dining room of Maria's Italian Kitchen now closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, on July 28, 2020, in Santa Monica, California. - Madelyn Alfano, 62, owner of Maria's Italian Kitchen, a restaurant chain in the Los Angeles area was forced to close …
VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) two weeks ago “quietly extended” her restaurant restrictions until March 29.

Whitmer recently allowed restaurants and bars to reopen in-person dining at 25 percent capacity and until 10:00 p.m., which affected patrons who watched the February 6 Super Bowl.

Mlive reported the limitations were supposed to expire February 21 “but were quietly extended to March 29 just days after indoor dining restarted.”

“We have long advocated the need for a more comprehensive strategy for the economic reintegration of our restaurants, banquet centers and entertainment venues in Michigan,” Justin Winslow, president & CEO of the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA), said in a news release.

The MRLA created a series of benchmarks based on the state’s daily positive coronavirus test rate, which would then tighten or loosen restrictions depending on that data.

For example, if the positive test rate was 15 percent or above over 14 days, restaurants would close.

If the rate was 10 to 15 percent over seven days, restaurants would be open 25 percent with a 10:00 p.m. curfew — the current restrictions.

Michigan’s positive test rate is currently 3.7 percent, which would allow restaurants to open at 50 percent, according to MRLA’s proposed guidelines.

If rates fall below 3.0 percent, they could open 100 percent.

“Through this plan, we are putting our metrics where our mouth is and hope it proves a useful tool to elected leaders as we enter a new phase of the pandemic,” Winslow said.

Charles Owens, Michigan director of the National Federation of Independent Business, told Mlive his members could live with restrictions that were based on “a benchmark that was public.”

He asserted that those making the decisions “don’t get that.”

On Wednesday, Whitmer took credit for the declining numbers.

“Michigan is in a stronger position than most other states in the nation right now,” she said, according to WDIV.

“It’s because the pause worked,” she continued, referring to the “three week pause” that was repeatedly extended to more than 14 weeks.

“It’s because we’re being very thoughtful about incrementally reengaging sectors of our economy that just inherently pose a higher risk.”

Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays–download full podcast episodes. Follow him on Parler.


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