Michigan hospitals, restaurants square off

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The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association is pushing back against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's temporary ban on indoor dining with a lawsuit to reopen, while the state attorney general's office said the state's hospital system is on the brink of collapse due to an influx of COVID-19 patients and defended the measure, the Detroit Free Press reports. 

Kelli Mulder, an attorney for MRLA, said the state's restaurant industry won't survive another shutdown on indoor dining, citing the 2,000 restaurants that have closed. By spring, Ms. Mulder said another 6,000 Michigan restaurants could permanently close in the absence of additional federal stimulus funds. The MRLA said restaurants are unfairly targeted by restrictions, despite state data showing just 4.3 percent of all COVID-19 outbreaks are linked to restaurants. 

While the restaurant industry is struggling, Assistant State Attorney General Neil Giovanatti cited research indicating restaurants were among the riskiest places for spreading the coronavirus and maintained that if the state doesn't restrict indoor activity where masks aren't worn and the pandemic worsens, Michigan's healthcare system will fall apart.  

U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney in Kalamazoo heard the court case Nov. 30, and is holding off on a ruling until he gets more information from both sides, according to the Detroit Free Press

Michigan's temporary ban on indoor dining is set to end Dec. 8. A letter from owners of the Andiamo restaurant chain urges restaurants to defy the order if extended. 

More articles on public health:
25 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Dec. 2
'Pandemic' is 2020 word of the year
Vaccine will be widely available by June, Warp Speed leader says; White House COVID-19 adviser resigns — 5 updates

 

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