Local COVID-19 Guidelines for Businesses in Detroit

Like most parts of the country, the COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Detroit have increased recently. Because of this, it is more important than ever that businesses and residents follow the guidelines set by the city and the state.

What Is Detroit’s Current Reopening Plan?

Due to Detroit’s record number of cases, the city’s reopening plan has been stalled. Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Mayor Mike Duggan both agree that it would be irresponsible to move to the next phase of reopening right now. Both officials agree that the cases of COVID need to go down significantly before the next phase of reopening is organized.

Is It Mandatory to Wear Masks in Detroit?

Masks have remained mandatory in Detroit for quite some time; however, the guidelines set by the governor were voided when the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the COVID orders were considered unconstitutional. Due to the recent spike in cases, Governor Whitmer is asking residents to take the spike seriously and start wearing masks in public. Fortunately, most business owners are now refusing service to customers who refuse to wear masks.

Are Restaurants Open in Detroit?

Yes, restaurants in Detroit are open. New orders have gone into effect on October 9, 2020 and will remain in effect until October 30, 2020. After that, the guidelines will be reviewed. The current guidelines are as follows:

  • Indoor dining has a maximum capacity of 50 percent of the restaurant’s normal seating capacity.
  • Guests are required to wear face masks unless they are eating or drinking.
  • Dance floors and common gathering areas must remain closed.
  • Tables must be placed six feet apart.
  • COVID policies must be posted for customers to see.
  • Restaurants must be cleaned and sanitized regularly.

Are Gyms Open in Detroit?

As of September 9, 2020, gyms in Detroit have been allowed to open as long as the guidelines are followed. These include:

  • The capacity is limited to 25 percent.
  • Members and employees must wear masks at all times, even while working out.
  • Workout class sizes must be reduced to allow members to remain six feet apart from one another.
  • Equipment must be placed six feet apart to allow social distancing.
  • Equipment must be disinfected after each use.
  • Hand sanitizer or soap and water must be made available to all members.

What Businesses and Services Are Open In Detroit?

For now, all businesses and services are allowed to open with restrictions. Due to the recent spike in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, keeping these businesses open is contingent on residents following the guidelines set by the Governor.

It is essential that business owners require customers to wear masks and to social distance. Regular cleaning and sanitizing are also necessary for keeping businesses open.

What Does Detroit Define As “Essential Business” During COVID?

During Michigan’s stay-at-home order early on during the pandemic, there were several Detroit businesses that were deemed essential, and remained open. These include:

  • Healthcare facilities
  • Law enforcement
  • First responders
  • Supermarkets
  • Food delivery
  • Utility companies
  • Water companies
  • Transportation (bus, train, taxi, etc.)
  • Trash pickup
  • All forms of news media
  • Banks
  • Convenience stores
  • Pet supply stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Veterinarians

Are Large Gatherings Allowed In Detroit?

Yes, but the updated guidelines set on October 9, 2020 must be followed.

  • Non-residential indoor gatherings are allowed with fewer than 20 people per 1,000 square feet.
  • Outdoor venues are allowed with fewer than 30 people per 1,000 square feet.
  • Masks must be worn at all indoor gatherings. They are not necessary for an outdoor gathering unless social distancing is impossible.

How To Keep Business Going During COVID?

If business owners are going to remain open during COVID, they need to enforce the guidelines set by the state. Masks must be worn at all times by both employees and customers. Also, business owners should post signs to remind the customers of the guidelines. Customers should always remain six feet apart and placing stickers on the floor can help with this. Finally, regular cleaning and sterilizing is essential in preventing the spread of COVID-19, which will help keep the business open.


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