On Friday the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services updated their emergency orders and the rules for gatherings, mask requirements, and worker protections. Under this new order it also allows bars to reopen.

After reopening earlier this summer, bars were forced to shut down again when there was a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases... most being linked back to bars. Going to the bar will not be the same. There won't be crowds of people, congregating, or actually going up to the bar to order a drink. According to the MDDHS bars will only be allowed to serve alcohol to people whom are seated at a table, six feet apart, and remain at the table.

Restaurants are still able to operate as they have been at a 50% capacity and serve people indoors as long as guests are seated six feet apart. Unlike bars, though, restaurants are allowed to have people sit at the bar top, as long as they aren't seated by one another.

As far as other businesses such as retail stores, libraries, and museums may not exceed 50% capacity while exercise facilities and recreational sports are limited to a 25% capacity.

Mask requirements are pretty much the same and must still be worn at any place of gathering including work, childcare facilities, school, and sporting events. Indoor gatherings remain the same at 10 people and outdoor at 100. Businesses are also told to not let anyone into their establishment who doesn't wear a mask.

The Traverse City area (Region 6) has a little less strict rules.

The Emergency Order is in place immediately and will stay in place until October 30. Anyone who violates the order can face up to six months in jail, a $200 fine, or both.

Local health departments are encouraged to enforce the orders set by the MDHHS. You can see the full release here.

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