Michigan Ban On Indoor Dining Could Be Lifted Feb. 1

The state health department says indoor group exercise and non-contact sports can resume if people can stay socially distanced.

Some COVID-19 restrictions are set to be lifted in Michigan this weekend. The state health department says indoor group exercise and non-contact sports can resume if people can stay socially distanced. 

Restrictions on indoor dining, which were originally slated to be lifted January 15, will continue through the rest of the month, but Governor Gretchen Whitmer says some of those restrictions could be lifted on February 1 if certain requirements are met. “The factors we’re looking at when making decisions are falling cases, percent of COVID hospital beds available and falling positive test rates,” says Whitmer. According to Whitmer, even if those conditions are met, there will likely be restrictions on the number of people allowed inside dining rooms.

State health data show that the positive test rates have seen a slight increase as the number of new infections declines.

Michigan Slow to Distribute Vaccines

Public health experts and government officials alike agree that the state won’t return to normal until the majority of residents are vaccinated. Unfortunately, Michigan’s vaccination rollout has been slower than residents and health officials alike would prefer, hampered by bureaucracy and a lack of doses.

State Chief Operating Officer Tricia Foster has been in-charge of the state’s vaccine rollout. She says the Trump Administration has under-delivered on its promise of providing 300,000 weekly doses.

Michigan is currently getting just 60,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 inoculations per week.

Governor Whitmer says logistical issues such as freezers, paperwork and the scheduling of a second shot have hampered the rollout as well. “These vaccines have to be stored at incredibly cold temperatures. We have to have people fill out paperwork and schedule their second shot. This is time consuming,” explains Whitmer.

According to data from MDHHS, Michigan has received 831,150 doses that were either administered or scheduled to be given within the next two weeks.

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  • Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He's been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.