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Friday, October 23, 2020

Michigan's top medical official advises ordering takeout instead of dining in

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. - STATE OF MICHIGAN
  • State of Michigan
  • Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.

With coronavirus cases on the rise again in Michigan, the state's Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, is asking residents to reconsider dining out, which has been linked to the spread of COVID-19.

"If you have a choice between dining in a restaurant or getting takeout, strongly consider getting takeout," Khaldun said.

If you do decide to eat out, Khladun's advice is to dine only with people who you live with. And if you do dine indoors, Khaldun advises wearing a mask except when you're eating, and to limit talking, because talking increases the risk of spread.

Yeesh. That doesn't sound very fun.

Khaldun made the comments on Wednesday. The news comes weeks after the Michigan Supreme Court struck down Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's emergency powers, undoing many of her executive orders that restricted businesses. It also comes as the cold season approaches, forcing many local restaurants to move their dining areas from outdoor patios, which are considered more safe, to back indoors.

Under the current rules, restaurants and bars are allowed to host customers indoors at 50 percent of normal capacity. Customers must wear a mask until they're seated.

But "just because something is permitted, it does not mean it is a good idea to do it," Khaldun said.

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found adults who tested positive for the coronavirus were twice as likely to have dined at a restaurant two weeks before reporting symptoms.

Khaldun's warning is bad news for Michigan's restaurants and bars, which have been hit hard by the economic impact of the virus. Restaurant owners say that the federal Paycheck Protection Program loan was not much help because it requires restaurants to retain staff, but there isn't much demand. A number of restaurants, like the highly anticipated Magnet in Detroit, have been forced to close.

This week, Michigan reported more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases, surpassing the peak reported in April.
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