DETROIT, MI (WXYZ) — June 22 marks the official end of pandemic-related restriction in Michigan. State leaders said the metrics continue to head in the right direction, so bars and restaurants can soon return to 100 percent capacity.
Unemployment numbers, however, are still wearing on businesses. Michigan unemployment numbers remain well above pre-pandemic levels—up 50,000 since February 2020. Some businesses are taking the good with the bad.
"It's been curveball after curveball," VP of operations at Crispelli Paul Morgan said. "I think we've all dealt with it the best we can. The 22nd is going to be an exciting day where we can get past this."
When the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Michigan on March 10, 2020, little did anyone know it would take 469 days for restrictions to end. Things, of course, got worse before they got better.
The Whitmer administration announced rollback via email announcing masks, social distancing, and capacity limits are no longer required inside or outside as of June 22. That's ten days earlier than planned.
"As we saw vaccinations continue to go up and cases and hospitalizations and deaths continue to go down, we felt like now the numbers made it clear that we could make this action sooner rather than later," Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist said.
According to the CDC, nearly 5 million Michiganders aged 16 and up have received their first vaccine dose. d According to the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, half of the state's residents are fully vaccinated.
But as the full reopening approaches, the biggest challenge across industries has been keeping up with the demand and countering a prevailing worker shortage.
BUT AS THE FULL REOPENING APPROACHES, THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE ACROSS INDUSTRIES HAS BEEN KEEPING UP WITH THE DEMAND. AND COUNTERING A PREVAILING WORKER SHORTAGE.
"We need servers, bussers, dishwashers, pizza makers, you name it," Morgan said.
Crispelli said it does not have enough staff to cover tables and has even added a $250 hiring bonus for employees who stay at least three months.