Gov. Whitmer temporarily shuts down bars, restaurants & gyms amid COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 8:09 AM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 12:18:17-04

(WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer will shut down dine-in services at all bars and restaurants in Michigan amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Full coverage: Coronavirus outbreak in Michigan

The executive order went into effect at 3 p.m. Monday, March 16.

  • Gyms, fitness centers & movie theaters will temporarily close under Whitmer executive order

PHOTOS: Ann Arbor restaurants shuttered

The order will close down restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, taverns, brewpubs, distilleries, clubs, movie theaters, indoor and outdoor performance venues, gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, spas and casinos. Salons can stay open, but if a location is a salon and spa, the spa will still have to close.

Carryout and delivery services will still be available, along with window service, walk-up service or drive-up service.

Per the order, restaurants may allow five people inside at a time to pick up orders, as long as they stay six feet apart from each other.

The restrictions will remain in place until Monday, March 30.

The executive order does not apply to: office buildings, grocery stores, markets, food pantries, pharmacies, drug stores, and providers of medical equipment and supplies, health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities, warehouse and distribution centers, and industrial and manufacturing facilities.

“This disease is a challenge unlike any we’ve experienced in our lifetimes,” Whitmer said in a press release. “Fighting it will cause significant but temporary changes to our daily lives. By practicing social distancing and taking aggressive action now, the state is working to mitigate the spread of coronavirus so we reduce the risk that our health care system becomes overwhelmed. This is about saving lives. Michiganders are tough and we are going to get through this, but it will require everyone doing their part. That means making smart choices and not putting yourself or others at risk by going out in public unless it is absolutely necessary.”

There are currently 53 positive cases of coronavirus in Michigan.

This most recent order follows Whitmer's order to close schools across the state, along with a ban on public gatherings of more than 250 people.

Sunday, the CDC announced a more aggressive guideline - suggesting that events of more than 50 people be postponed for the next 8 weeks to stop the spread of COVID19.

Additionally on Sunday, Whitmer announced a new executive order aimed at cracking down on price-gouging during this pandemic.

"No one shall sell any good, material, emergency supply or consumer food item more than 20 percent higher than they charged as of March 9, 2020 unless the person demonstrates that the price increase is attributable to an increase in the cost of bringing that product to market," said Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:

  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
  • Replace handshakeds with elbow bumps.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.