DETROIT (AP) — A judge has refused to block Michigan’s ban on indoor dining during a surge in coronavirus cases. Federal judge Paul Maloney says a “plausible explanation” for the state order exists: People can’t eat or drink without removing their mask, a step that could spread the virus. Maloney turned down a request for an injunction with a week left in the three-week indoor dining ban. Restaurants fear that the steady loss of customers could put them out of business. They also fear a possible extension of the order by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration. The ban on dining has been met with some defiance. At least four restaurants have been hit with $1,000-a-day fines for serving meals indoors.
The Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon issued the following statement on the court ruling:
“We are happy that today’s ruling keeps in place measures that will save lives by limiting specific indoor gatherings that greatly increase the risk of COVID-19 spread. The science is settled: public health experts from around the nation and world say these types of actions must be taken to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases. These protocols on specific indoor gatherings, along with wearing face masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing, give Michigan a fact-based approach to slow the spread of COVID-19 so we can return to a strong economy and get back to normal safely as soon as we can.”