Judge won't upset ban on indoor dining during virus spike

File photo of a business in downtown Niles, Michigan

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A judge has declined to stop a three-week ban on indoor dining in Michigan, the latest coronavirus restriction imposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration.

Federal Judge Paul Maloney says a restraining order isn't appropriate, especially when the state hasn't had a chance to respond to the lawsuit.

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association sued to try to stop the indoor dining ban that began Wednesday.

The group said restaurants can take further steps to minimize the coronavirus without cutting off customers.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon issued the following statement on the court's ruling:

“We appreciate today’s ruling. Orders similar to this one have successfully stopped COVID surges in many other countries. That’s why public health experts support the approach, and we believe these targeted and temporary steps are needed to avoid overwhelmed hospitals and death counts like we saw in the spring. If all of us mask up and avoid indoor gatherings, we will not only save thousands of lives and protect our frontline health workers, but we’ll also be able to enjoy indoor restaurant dining without fear.”

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