Michigan officials cut gatherings from 500 to 50 in response to Covid surge

October 29, 2020, 3:33 PM


You may have to whittle down the guest list for your dinner party or wedding under new restrictions Michigan health officials say are designed to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The rules unveiled Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services include: 

  • Reducing indoor gatherings "without fixed seating" from 500 to 50 people — an effort to prevent "superspreader events"

  • Reducing guests in one restaurant party from ten to six

  • Requiring restaurants to keep the names and phone numbers of customers to aid contact tracing 

The modest changes come five days before Election Day and as cases in the state surge beyond April's peak. Hospitalizations statewide are up to 1,400 — more than three times what they were last month. The percent positivity rate of tests now exceeds five percent, the threshold over which the World Health Organization advised governments against reopening in May.

Michigan's health agency has confirmed 171,220, pandemic cases and 7,298 deaths linked to Covid since mid-March.

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