By: Joey Oliver | September 25, 2020 | Michigan — Movie theaters and bowling alleys in Michigan can reopen Oct. 9, according to an executive order signed by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Friday.
The order also required face coverings for students in grades K-5. “Michigan took some of the most aggressive action against COVID-19 in the country, and as a result, the health of our families and our economy are faring better than our neighbors in other states,” Whitmer said in a statement. “As a result, we are now able to reopen movie theaters and performance venues with strict safety measures in place. I know these business owners have made incredible sacrifices during this crisis to protect our families and frontline workers, and my administration will continue working to help them get back on their feet.
“We are not out of the woods yet, and we will continue to monitor the effects of these incremental changes. Right now, the federal government and all 50 states have been under some form of state of emergency. We must stay the course and continue fighting this virus on behalf of our families, frontline workers, and our small businesses.”
Whitmer’s newest executive order comes on the day the state surpassed 120,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. As of Friday morning, more than 6,700 people in Michigan have died from the virus, according to the state.
Beginning Oct. 9, a number of previously closed businesses are slated to reopen statewide, including indoor theaters, cinemas, performance venues, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, indoor climbing facilities and trampoline parks, according to the order.
Under the order, instead of being limited to 10 people, non-residential indoor gatherings and events now must limit attendance to 20 people per 1,000 square feet or 20 percent of fixed seating capacity, with a maximum of 500 people in Michigan’s largest venues.
Non-residential indoor venues must require a face covering, according to the order. Instead of being limited to 100 people, non-residential outdoor gatherings and events now must limit attendance to 30 people per 1,000 square feet or 30 percent of fixed seating capacity, with a maximum of 1,000 people.
Regions 6 and 8 are subject to the same rules covered in the revised MI Safe Start order, except non-residential indoor venues may allow up to 25 people per 1,000 square feet or 25 percent of fixed seating capacity, with a maximum of 500 people in the regions’ largest venues, according to the order.
The order requires all students in grades kindergarten and up in regions 1-5 and 7 to wear a face covering in classrooms. Prior orders had recommended, but not required, a face covering for grades kindergarten through five. “With the 2020-2021 flu season approaching, we are in a precarious moment in our fight against COVID-19,” Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said. “This new mask requirement is so important to protect students and educators, and to keep our schools open. This year, it’s more important than ever that Michiganders across the state get their flu vaccine as soon as possible, mask up, and maintain at least six feet of physical distancing. Let’s all be smart and stay safe.”