LANSING — During a COVID-19 press conference, Governor Whitmer confirmed the hopes to have indoor dining reopened by Feb. 1.
“Michigan has been a national leader in fighting COVID-19,” she said. “We have developed a strategy to accelerate vaccinations in the state of Michigan.”
Whitmer said that Michigan had to be a leader.
“We had to lead because the feds failed to develop a national strategy,” she said. “We are facing a new, but welcome challenge and that is increased demands for the vaccine and we are trying to get more doses in the state.”
Whitmer also announced that effective Jan. 16 until Jan. 31 indoor group exercise and non-contact sports are able to resume.
“The efforts we have made together to protect our families, frontline workers and small business owners are working,” she said. “While there has been a slight uptick in our percent positivity rate, our cases per million have plateaued and more hospital beds are becoming available. Today, we are confident that MDHHS can lift some of the protocols that were previously in place. Michigan is once again standing out as a nationwide leader in fighting this virus, and we must continue working to keep it that way.”
In addition to the reopening of group fitness classes, Whitmer said that the plan for reopening of restaurants will come in the next few days.
“The pause that MDHHS issued is working,” she said. “Today, we are confident that DHHS can lift some of the previous restrictions that were put in place. If numbers continue to trend in the right direction, our hope is to be able to resume indoor dining with strong safety measures in place starting on Feb. 1. We are working on a path to allow for indoor dining at restaurants with safety measures such as mask requirements, capacity limits and a curfew.”
MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said that we need to remain cautious.
“We are reopening cautiously because caution is working to save lives,” he said. “The new order allows group exercise and non-contact sports, always with masks and social distancing, because in the winter it’s not as easy to get out and exercise and physical activity is important for physical and mental health. We are glad that we made it through the holidays without a big increase in numbers, but there are also worrying signs in the new numbers. We need to remain focused and continue to see declines in hospitalizations and to bring case rates and percent positivity down by doing what we know works.”
Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said the numbers are trending in the right direction.
“We continue to make progress in our fight against this virus; and expanding vaccination to healthcare workers, long-term care residents and staff, some essential frontline workers and those age 65 and older is bringing us closer to ending the pandemic,” she said. “It is important that everyone continues to do their part by avoiding gatherings, wearing masks properly and social distancing. This remains just as important, even as the safe and effective vaccine is being administered, to protect those who are not yet able to be vaccinated.”