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Michigan governor closes restaurants to dine-in customers

Gretchen Whitmer (D), 49th governor of Michigan, Photo Date: 3/23/2011

LANSING, Mich. (Associated Press) – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is ordering that all restaurants and bars close to dine-in customers.

The closure is set to go into effect on March 16 at 3 p.m. and is being done to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Businesses may stay open for takeout and delivery.

On Sunday, the state reported 20 new cases of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 53.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued the following statement in support of the restaurant restriction.

“My thoughts today are with the workers and businesses in our food and hospitality industries. It is heartbreaking that an industry built on service to others must be shut down to help protect and keep safe the families they call their customers and friends. In an effort to help them through this difficult and unexpected shutdown, I am asking our partners in the state and federal legislature to look for ways to help alleviate the financial impact of this shutdown. The Governor’s order was necessary and appropriate in light of the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves and we will be working with our state, county and local law enforcement partners to enforce the order. I am proud of the tens of thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of workers who recognize the gravity of this situation and are responding quickly and without hesitation. We owe them our gratitude and support.”

Some restaurants are keeping their normal business hours but adopting the take-out/ delivery only services. 

Pizza Transit in Niles said in a post to its Facebook page that they would remain open during the restriction, but would just alter how they serve customers.

Whitmer's action regarding restaurants and bars follows measures taken in both Ohio and Illinois on Sunday to do the same thing. 

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered that all bars and restaurants in the state close to dine-in patrons starting Monday night and lasting through March 30.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that all restaurants and bars in the state would be ordered to close starting 9 p.m. on Sunday. Establishments in Ohio may stay open for carry-out and delivery during the closure.

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