Education Headlines Health and Wellness Statewide News

Indoor theaters slated to reopen statewide; new face coverings requirement for K-5 students

Beginning October 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.

On Sept. 25, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Orders 2020-183, which amends the MI Safe Start order to reopen movie theaters and performance venues.

Under Executive Order 2020-183, 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%  of fixed seating capacity, with a maximum of 500 people in Michigan’s largest venues. Non-residential indoor venues must require a face covering. 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% 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% of fixed seating capacity, with a maximum of 500 people in the regions’ largest venues.

“One of the many unfortunate side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that bereaved families across Michigan have not had the opportunity attend the rituals, services and ceremonies that allow them to pay their respects and process their grief over the loss of a loved one,” said Phil Douma, executive director of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association.

“Increasing the number of people able to attend a funeral is the right thing to do, and grieving families across our state can now more properly mourn their losses and honor those they love,” Douma added.

Whitmer also signed Executive Order 2020-185, which requires face coverings for students in grades K-5. Executive Order 2020-185 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,” said Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.

“This new mask requirement is so important to protect students and educators, and to keep our schools open,” Khaldun added. “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.”

 

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