Businesses React to State’s ‘MI Vacc to Regular’ Plan, Lifting Restrictions on Curfew, Capacity

Governor Whitmer announced on Thursday the MI Vacc to Normal plan, which outlines key milestones for the restrictions to be lifted.

Jim Smolak, co-owner of 7 Monks Taproom in downtown Traverse City, says the bar and restaurant restrictions have been tough.

“The 50 percent utilization is certainly limited. This limits the number of employees you can reinstate. Certainly only limits the feel of this place; It’s a bar we like to pack people into and that has always been our goal and how this place is run, ”says Smolak.

With the MI Vacc to Normal plan, Smolak hopes there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

“I think a plan is important, rather than shooting off the waist like we’re going to do it,” says Smolak.

There are currently more than six million COVID-19 vaccines administered in Michigan, according to the state COVID-19 vaccine dashboard. That’s about 50 percent of the population.

Two weeks after the state hits 60 percent, conference centers and banquet halls can increase their capacity to 25 percent.

Grand Traverse Resort & Spa says this would be a huge relief as they are currently limited to a total of 25 people:

“In the governor’s hall, we could safely take care of nearly 500 people, and we can socially distance everyone down there very well. It will be a big step in the right direction, ”says Katie Leonard, Sales Director at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa.

The Grand Traverse County’s Health Department hopes the state’s plan gives people a goal to work toward:

“Our way out of the pandemic is to get as many people as possible vaccinated so we can all live again before the pandemic,” said Wendy Hirschenberger, health officer for the Grand Traverse County Health Department.

Hirschenberger says the state’s goal is feasible. They are currently working with local authorities to break down barriers and make getting the vaccine more convenient.

“In the last few weeks we have also started to build more community clinics and also to concentrate on a few school clinics. We will continue to do more of those in the community to make it as comfortable as possible, ”says Hirschenberger.

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