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Whitmer extends shutdown of eat-in restaurants

The Detroit News

Lansing — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has extended an order closing bars and restaurants except for carryout and delivery orders and shutting gyms, theaters, casinos, and other places of public accommodation until the end of April.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Whitmer's action Monday maintains closure orders that took effect March 16, days after the state reported its first confirmed cases of COVID-19. Since then, the number of COVID-19 cases in Michigan has reached 25,635 with more than 1,600 deaths.

The governor has faced growing discontent over her orders that tightly limit public gatherings, restrict retailers and ban many outdoor activities. On Monday, she urged patience, saying the curve of coronavirus cases in Michigan appears to be flattening.

In addition, Whitmer extended two other orders through May 11.

Those directives suspend weight and other delivery-related restrictions for vehicles carrying essential supplies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19; and allow certain state administrative hearings to be held by video conference or phone instead of in person.

“By extending these Executive Orders, we ensure that our state continues to do all it can to suppress the spread of COVID-19 by limiting in-person interactions and services as much as possible right now, while also ensuring that vital goods and supplies get to the people who need them most as quickly and safely as possible," Whitmer said in a statement.

The governor also extended the expiration of valid driver’s licenses, state identification cards and commercial vehicle registrations through June 30. Licenses can be renewed at Michigan.gov/SOS.