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Michigan restaurant challenge to state ban on indoor dining gets court hearing Monday

an empty row of tables at a restaurant
Andrew Seaman

A lawsuit challenging Michigan’s temporary ban on indoor diningis set for a hearing in federal court Monday morning.

Michigan’s restaurant industry filed the suit after state health department officials imposed a three week ban on indoor dining November 15. The ban wasimposed in response to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Michigan.

Since March, Michigan has recorded 350,021 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 9,036 deaths.   State data shows almost half of all Michiganders who've caught COVID got it in the last six weeks.

But industry officials say even a temporary ban could have a devastating on Michigan’s bars and restaurants. 

A judge has already rejectedthe industry request for temporary relief from the ban before this week’s hearing.

Some owners have ignoredthe order. The state responded last week with fines and liquor license suspensions.

The indoor dining ban is set to expire December 9, but it could be extended depending on the status of Michigan’s COVID-19 pandemic.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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