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Local restaurant workers share frustration at partial COVID-19 shutdown extension

Posted at 4:17 AM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 05:21:22-05

(WXYZ) — Metro Detroit servers and bartenders are sharing their frustration after learning the state's 3-week partial shutdown will last at least 12 more days.

Related: Gov. Whitmer announces partial shutdown extended until Dec. 20 due to COVID-19

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the extension on Monday, saying we have yet to see the impact of Thanksgiving gatherings on the virus's spread in Michigan.

Basement Burger Bar in Detroit is open every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for carry out, but bartender Patrick Foody said tips haven't been great so far through carry out.

Foody said he was expecting another shut down in some form due to the continued surge in COVID-19 cases, but that doesn't mean he was totally prepared for it.

Restaurants haven't been able to operate as they did pre-pandemic since mid-March.

“Obviously we’re an Irish Pub, so St. Patrick’s Day is a pretty good day for us. And March is general is a pretty good month for us and we lost all of that. We do a huge fish fry for Lent and everything, we lost all of that," Dunleavy's Pub Owner Marty Dunleavy said.

Related: Here are the COVID-19 metrics Michigan officials will monitor before safely reopening

The extension of the 3-week pause keeps restaurants, casinos, movie theatres, group exercise classes, bowling alleys, concessions, and more closed until Dec. 20.

“It’s not the restaurants’ fault. It’s not my fault…..this is how COVID-19 spreads," she said.

The state's health department is looking at the percentage of hospital beds with COVID-19 patients, the number of COVID cases and the positivity rate to determine if Michigan is moving in the right direction.

Related: Read the full Michigan epidemic order extending partial shutdown until Dec. 20

But, without a second round of stimulus money, Foody said he and his colleagues in the restaurant industry feel forgotten.

“We’re all in this together…I don’t really think we are all in this together," he said. “Not all the other people were financially impacted. They get to work from home now and I still have to drive to work and pay to park and make 20 percent of what I was making before.”

The partial shutdown also applies to college and pro sports not allowing fans, and no in-person learning for high schools and colleges until at least Dec. 20.

If there is improvement in the metrics, the state health department said reopening will start with in-person learning, then casinos, theatres and bowling alleys, all before restaurants.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

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.