Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Movie theaters, bowling alleys and arcades to open statewide October 9

New amendments reopen movie theaters and more while also requiring masks in school

September 25, 2020
Pinball Pete's East Lansing pictured on Sept. 25, 2020.
Pinball Pete's East Lansing pictured on Sept. 25, 2020. —
Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez | The State News

Movie theaters, bowling alleys and arcades are among the latest facilities set to reopen Oct. 9 after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-183

Whitmer also signed Executive Order 2020-185 which requires face coverings for students in grades K-5.

Other facilities permitted to reopen Oct. 9 include performance venues, other indoor theaters, indoor climbing, trampoline parks, bingo halls, and arcades.

Since Aug. 24, Ingham County Health Department identified more than 1,250 postive cases of COVID-19 connected to Michigan State University students and staff. More than 30 East Lansing residential properties are under a mandated quarantine and all MSU students are recommended to quarantine until Sept. 26.

The order allows for gatherings of up to 500 people indoors and up to 1,000 outdoors. It all depends on the size of the venue however, most venues will probably be closed off on numbers much smaller than that. 

Outdoor gatherings in East Lansing are restricted to 25 people.

Pinball Pete’s in East Lansing along with Studio C Meridian Mall in Okemos and NCG Lansing Cinema in Lansing were all unavailable to comment before time of publication but remain closed as of Sept. 25.

“Michigan took some of the most aggressive action against COVID-19 in the country, and as a result, the health of our families and our economy are faring better than our neighbors in other states,” Whitmer said. “As a result, we are now able to reopen movie theaters and performance venues with strict safety measures in place.”

J.D. Loeks, president of Studio C, Parent Company of Celebration Cinema, said he applauds the governor’s strong leadership and appreciates the guidance she has provided.

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our employees, patrons, and their families. We are eager to reopen our doors with strict safety measures in place and look forward to working closely with the governor and her team as we continue to fight this virus,” Loeks said.

The order also relaxes on indoor gathering restrictions which will allow for more weddings and large banquets along with funeral gatherings.

Phil Douma, Executive Director of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association thinks that the new order will allow families to “pay their respects and process their grief over the loss of a loved one.” 

“Increasing the number of people able to attend a funeral is the right thing to do, and grieving families across our state can now more properly mourn their losses and honor those they love," Douma said. 

Executive Order 2020-185 requires all students in grades kindergarten and up to wear a face-covering in classrooms. Although this initiative was previously recommended, it is now being required. 

According to Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, with the 2020-2021 flu season approaching we are in a sensitive position in the fight against COVID-19.

“This new mask requirement is so important to protect students and educators, and to keep our schools open,” Dr. Khaldun said.

He also suggests that Michiganders across the state get their flu vaccine as soon as possible, mask up, and maintain at least six feet of physical distancing. 

With these new orders in place, Governor Whitmer has said that they will continue monitoring the effects of these changes. 

“We must stay the course and continue fighting this virus on behalf of our families, frontline workers, and our small businesses.”

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