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Fear of second shutdown now a reality for metro Detroit restaurants trying to stay afloat

Posted at 11:35 PM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 23:37:49-05

(WXYZ) — Fear of a second shutdown now a reality for metro Detroit restaurants. As Coronavirus cases surge, the state has closed indoor dining among other restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Lauren Beneke tested positive for COVID-19 after her shift at a Ypsilanti bar.

"I've been feeling OK; thankful I've had very mild symptoms," Benke said.

A couple of her colleagues also tested positive. The health department traced the outbreak to customers who were inside the establishment. The mother of two said she had to work during the pandemic to provide for her children.

"I only work a couple days," Benke said. "So, not having that money at all is a really big hit for the family."

The demand grows for service employees, as the uncertainty of remaining open hangs in the balance.

"This is a strange time," said owner of Bangkok 96 Genevieve Vang.

Her location in Detroit is struggling amid the pandemic but she remains committed to keeping her employees on the payroll. A decision that will cost her, but she believes it's an investment for the future.

"I'm losing money," Vang said. "I think in the long run, when everything opens and the business is back, I'll have a team ready to go."

As lawmakers in Washington seem to be at a standstill over a second relief package, Beneke said holidays will look different for her family.

"We're trying to focus on being thankful for what we have this year," she said.

Restaurants across metro Detroit said they need support now more than ever.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.