State News

Detroit casinos can reopen, Michigan bars must close under latest Whitmer order

July 29, 2020, 10:55 PM

Detroit's three casinos can reopen next week at 15-percent capacity under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's latest executive order, but indoor bars in northern Michigan have to join their downstate counterparts in closing.

Additional rules announced late Wednesday include limiting indoor gatherings across the state to 10 people and outdoor gatherings in the lower part of the state to 100.

Detroit's casinos have been closed since March, costing the city significant tax revenue. They can reopen Aug. 5. 

Indoor bars must close if more than 70 percent of their gross sales are for alcohol.

The decisions come as daily new Covid-19 cases in the state climb to a seven-day average of 703, from 579 for the preceding seven days. Case numbers in northern parts of the state have also ticked up slightly, raising concerns due to a lack of hospital capacity to handle any potential surge.  

In issuing the order, the governor's office said the spread of the virus was being driven in part by large social gatherings attended by young people. An outbreak at a Harper's in East Lansing this month resulted in 187 infections; one house party in Saline saw more than 50 cases; and a sandbar party at Torch Lake over the July 4 weekend led to at least 43 confirmed cases.

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