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Judge Rejects To Block Ban On Michigan Indoor Dining

(CBS DETROIT) - On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Maloney denied a request for a temporary injunction to ban Michigan's indoor dining.

Maloney said the court finds "that a plausible explanation for the emergency order exists: Restaurant patrons cannot wear a mask while eating or drinking."

"Plaintiffs complain that they are being treated differently than similar businesses, but as the court noted in its previous order, individuals can patronize the businesses that remain open while wearing a mask," Maloney said.

Restaurants sued to try to stop the ban after Governor Whitmer's administration announced the three-week pause in response to a wave in coronavirus cases across the state.

Along with the three-week pause, high schools and colleges were to stop in-person classes and sports, while casinos, movie theaters, and bowling alleys are closed and gyms cannot host group exercise.

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association stated compared to other businesses they were being treated unfairly. MRLA also stated they could safely provide indoor dining to patrons.

According to the association, 2,000 Michigan restaurants have closed this year.

Wednesday afternoon, MDHHS Director Robert Gordon released a statement on the court's ruling saying it keeps in place measures that will "save lives limiting specific indoor gatherings that greatly increase the risk of COVID-19 spread."

"The science is settled: public health experts from around the nation and world say these types of actions must be taken to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases," said Gordon.

The MDHHS Director also added, "These protocols on specific indoor gatherings, along with wearing face masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing, give Michigan a fact-based approach to slow the spread of COVID-19 so we can return to a strong economy and get back to normal safely as soon as we can."

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