Fasten your seat belts (or bar the door) for lockdown round two. The state has imposed a raft of new restrictions on the state in response to the growing number of positive COVID-19 test results and concerns about hospital capacity. Biggest impact on the island? Dine-in meals are done until at least December 8th and B-I-C-S high school students will shift to remote learning on Wednesday.
BICS principal and superintendent Wil Cwikiel wants to be sure all students are in class on Monday and Tuesday so high school students can get ready for a shift to learning at home. The school intends to continue in-person classes for pre-school through 8th grade for now. The School Board’s Return to School Committee will meet on Wednesday to review next steps.
While the new order isn’t nearly as restrictive as the governor’s initial round of lockdown orders, it will shutter a lot of activities effective on Wednesday.
Also out are in-person classes at colleges, and high school sports are suspended. The new restrictions also shutter theaters, stadiums, arcades, bowling centers, ice rinks, indoor water parks and group fitness classes (although individual gym time is allowed). There’s no change to the indoor gathering limit of 10 people at your house, but now no more than two households can meet in one place. Outdoor gatherings are now capped at 25 people. It appears that college and professional sports may continue without spectators subject to compliance with safety procedures. Also allowed to remain open (subject to occupancy limits, masking requirements and data collection for contact tracing) are retail businesses, salons, barber shops, public transit, child-care centers, parks and health-care facilities are still open.
Republican legislative leaders are criticizing the governor for once again going it alone on her decisions. They say they are ready to collaborate. She says they don’t have a plan.
State health officials reported more than 14 thousand new COVID-19 cases and 183 new deaths over the weekend. Average for new cases is now more than five thousand a day and 65 for deaths. The number of active cases in the state is at 110,722. In our region, there were 267 new cases and two new deaths. 16 of the new cases were in Charlevoix. The two deaths were in Emmet. There are now 2,129 active cases in our 8 county region, which is averaging 101 new cases a day and 2 deaths a day.
No change in data from the Health Center this morning. They are awaiting results on nine tests with 225 run so far throughout the crisis.