According to, Michigan's restaurant industry remains on track to reopen indoor dining Feb. 1 despite concerns over the new, more contagious coronavirus variant being discovered within the state.

The director of the state's Department of Health and Human Services said the timeline remained the same Wednesday, Jan. 20, following a virtual presentation.

I don't know about you but my wife and I have really missed dining out. We've been making a list of all of our favorite restaurants. Once we get that green light on Feb. 1, we're off and dining like nobody's business.

While restaurants will reopen that day, there will remain risk associated with indoor dining.

Last week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a two week extension to restrictions that banned indoor dining at restaurants, but said those businesses may be allowed to resume indoor dining Feb. 1 with mask requirements, capacity limits and a curfew.

State leaders have pointed to three metrics:

COVID-19 case numbers.

Hospitalizations and positive test rates.

Needing to see improvement in order to reduce restrictions.

On Nov. 19, the state reported an average of 7,025 new cases per day over a one week span. There were 3,824 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, and the positive test rate was 12.5%. (

Roughly two months later, Michigan reported a seven day average of 2,078 new cases per day and the positive rate dropped to 7.48%.

Hundreds of Michiganders are alive because the state has brought COVID under control. Here's more from

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