The head of the Small Business Association of Michigan says the state’s new virus restrictions could result in “catastrophic failure” for many small businesses.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration is ordering the closure of restaurants to indoor dining. And entertainment facilities such as theaters, bowling alleys and indoor water parks must close again.
“They’re just in no condition to weather these types of conditions, given the fact that some of them were required to be closed for five or six months earlier this year,” Brian Calley, president of the Small Business Association of Michigan and a former Republican lieutenant governor of the state, said Monday.
The new restrictions, designed to curb Michigan’s spiking coronavirus cases, will begin Wednesday and last three weeks. They are not nearly as sweeping as when the governor issued a stay-at-home order last spring, but they are extensive. An order written by the state health department also limits indoor residential gatherings to no more than two households and restricts outdoor gatherings to 25 people.
“This is what we’re hoping — that people rise to this challenge and meet it together and we push our numbers down so we can avoid more aggressive measures,” Whitmer, a first-term Democrat, told reporters.
Jamie Brown, a critical care nurse from Kalamazoo who is president of the Michigan Nurses Association, lauded the new order.
“The restrictions are absolutely necessary right now,” she said. “The pandemic is out of control. Nurses are at their breaking point, so any help the public can give us would be great.”
Michigan’s seven-day average of daily new cases has more than doubled from 3,113 to 6,684 over two weeks. It is up nearly five-fold from 30 days ago. Daily deaths also have surged, from 25 to 62, according to The COVID Tracking Project. The number of patients currently hospitalized, about 3,000, has risen six-fold in under two months.