Michigan increases restaurant, gathering capacity limits

Health officials have updated Michigan’s COVID-19 related orders to allow for increased capacity at restaurants and gatherings. It also expands visitation at residential care facilities.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated the orders Tuesday.

“As we continue our vaccine rollout and make steady progress against the virus, we are taking additional incremental steps to re-engage to ensure we are protecting our families and frontline workers and saving lives,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Michigan is a national leader in the fight against COVID-19, and our fact-based, data-driven approach will help our state rebuild our economy and resume normal day-to-day activities. As always, mask up, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands.”

The state is monitoring three metrics:

Hospital capacity dedicated to COVID-19 is now at 3.9%. This metric peaked at 19.6% on Tuesday, Dec. 4. 

Overall case rates: After declining for six weeks, this metric is plateauing at 91.2 cases per million. The rate is similar to what we were at the beginning of October.

Positivity rate: is now at 3.7% having increased slightly from last week (3.5%). This metric is similar to where we were at the beginning of October.

Capacity changes go into effect March 5 and remain in effect through April 19.

  • Restaurants and bars are allowed to be at 50% capacity up to 100 people. Tables must be six feet apart with no more than six people per table. There is now an 11 p.m. curfew.
  • Indoor non-residential gatherings where people interact across households are permitted up to 25 people, allowing public meetings and other small indoor gatherings to resume.
  • Outdoor non-residential gatherings where people interact across households are permitted up to 300, allowing larger outdoor events to resume.
  • Indoor entertainment venues are allowed to be at 50% capacity, up to 300 people.
  • Exercise facilities are allowed to be at 30% capacity with restrictions on distancing and mask requirements.
  • Retail is allowed to be at 50% capacity.
  • Casinos are allowed to be at 30% capacity.
  • Indoor stadiums and arenas are allowed have 375 if seating capacity is under 10,000; 750 if seating capacity is over 10,000.
  • Outdoor entertainment and recreational facilities may host up to 1,000 patrons.
  • Indoor residential gatherings are now limited to 15 people from three households, while outdoor residential gatherings can include up to 50 people.

The Residential Care Facilities Order goes into effect immediately because most residents at facilities have received their first dose of the vaccine and many have received their second dose..

The order encourages communal dining and group activities for residents and allows indoor and outdoor visitation in all counties regardless of county risk level. Visitation is allowed as long as the facility has not had a new COVID-19 case in the last 14 days and all indoor visitors ages 13 and older are subject to rapid antigen testing. Visitors must wear face masks when required by the facility and should maintain 6-feet from residents.


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