Locals react to new restrictions from gov

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is pictured. (Photo courtesy of the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor)

MARQUETTE — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this week made changes to the pandemic restrictions that are currently in place.

Three Detroit casinos are set to reopen at a 15% limited capacity, having been closed for the last four months in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The opening date will be Wednesday and include a ban on smoking. Tribal casinos, which are not regulated by the state, have already reopened and have been operating safely, Whitmer told The Associated Press.

The Upper Peninsula and most of the northern Lower Peninsula will rejoin the rest of the state in regards to certain restrictions.

Business owners in Marquette and surrounding areas have gotten creative in order to keep their businesses afloat.

“The bad part about it is there is no start or ending. Everything is basically up in the air and no one really knows what the true order is because it’s not a law,” said Stan Clis, owner of The Wooden Nickel in Marquette.

Clis had the foresight to see that another shutdown might be a possibility and was able to expand his outdoor area.

According to Clis, he doesn’t plan on skipping a beat. By expanding his outdoor bar, patrons will no longer enter through the actual bar, and instead enter in the courtyard. This workaround allows it to still be open and serve outside.

The order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, when indoor gatherings were capped at 10 people, down from the previous 50. Bars must close for indoor service if more than 70% of their gross receipts are from alcohol sales.

When asked if they will be affected by these new restrictions. Pat and Alyssa Digneit, co-owners of Digs Gastropub in Marquette, said, “We won’t be affected by the order of new restrictions because our food sales exceed our liquor sales. However, we are only open for limited hours of restaurant service, Thursday through Sunday from 4 to 10 p.m. We did add an additional outdoor seating area called DIGS City Beach. These are tough times and we are all just trying to follow the rules and make it through.”

This past month throughout the state, there have been “super-spreading” events such as the Fourth of July beach overcrowding at McCarty’s Cove in Marquette and sandbar parties downstate.

There will be no changes made to indoor theaters, gyms, bowling alleys or outdoor concert venues in the U.P. or northern Lower Peninsula, subject to capacity caps and distancing requirements.

Amy Grigas can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is agrigas@miningjournal.net.


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