Gov. Whitmer makes recommendations as COVID-19 cases rise

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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. -- Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is asking Michiganders to put a pause on some high-risk activities. She is recommending that high school go back to remote learning at least for two weeks and that youth sports be suspended. She’s also suggesting that people continue to eat at local restaurants, but try and avoid indoor dining and gatherings.

“These are not orders, mandates, or requirements. The year in we all know what works and this has to be a team effort,” Governor Whitmer said.

The governor is urging people to take caution as cases in the state begin to rise once again.

“That’s the nature of this virus. The second we let our guard down it comes roaring back. Luckily we can put it behind us once and for all. If we get vaccinated, but we can't get complacent in the meantime. The best way to get cases down is for every one of us to do our part,” Governor Whitmer said.

El Amigo Pepe, a restaurant in Niles has been doing just that since the pandemic began.

The restaurant owner’s son, Erik Mendez said he appreciates the governor’s suggestions---even if they’re not requirements.

“She has an important position, so we want to make sure that we do our best to respect whatever rules are set, and that’s the biggest reason for us staying closed is we want to make sure, well safety and health is the most important thing. So, she’s doing her best and we’re just trying to do our best here,” Mendez said.

The Mexican restaurant has closed their in-door dining for over a year and even though the state now allows for limited dine-in capacity, they still only offer takeout and curbside pickup.

Last summer they utilized their food truck as a way to attract business. And with safety for their employees and customers in mind, they, along with other businesses in Niles had to adapt.

“We don’t know how long COVID is going to last, and what’s really going to happen. So we’re just trying to adapt. And have everything ready for whatever is thrown our way,” Mendez said.

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