Will West Michigan Open Friday, Too?
By now you've probably heard that Gov. Whitmer will be opening bars and restaurants in the U.P. and 17 counties of Northwest Michigan in the Greater Traverse City Area starting Friday at 12:01 a.m.
So are you making plans to go north already? Not so fast... In Monday's press conference the governor hinted that more areas of Michigan may open ahead of Memorial Day Weekend, too. Cases in West Michigan are not even close to what has happened around the Detroit area.
So maybe Western Michigan will get lucky enough to re-open some bars and restaurants this weekend, too. Otherwise, even though everyone is advised not to, may people will head north... Governor Whitmer said "Think long and hard before going to these areas that are opening..."
You know that if they don't open up West Michigan and other areas not hit as hard by the pandemic there will be a mad dash north for Memorial Day Weekend.
As of Monday, the only areas to open on Friday are official regions MERC 6 and 8 (see map). That includes bars and restaurants at 50% capacity and outside seating is encouraged and safer. Also, offices where work can't be done from home will also re-open, though I can't imagine how many workers will want to go into the office on Friday before Memorial Day.
We can see that everyone is already making plans to go up north. A quick check of Traverse City Hotels and we're seeing the prices go up and availability go down. Prices were under $100 and now going up every minute today.
One of the last parts of the press conference today was about testing. If you're someone that does have to return to work, testing is now available without a doctor's order and has been expanded to include individuals with mild symptoms and workers who are deem essential and now have to report to work in person. For locations go to MICHIGAN.GOV/CORONAVIRUSTEST. I put in the Grand Rapids Zip Code of 49503 and the Michigan Dept. Of Health and Human Services came up *888) 535-6136
And finally the Governor issued a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been doing their part to flatten the curve. You're welcome and continue to be safe.