In a press conference Monday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that retail businesses and bars and restaurants in northern Michigan will be able to reopen beginning Friday, May 22, 2020.

Capacity will be limited to 50%, and social distancing must take place. Servers in restaurants and bars must wear masks.

Regions 8 and 6 (the Upper Peninsula and much of northern lower Michigan) as outlined in the MI Safe Start Plan are the first regions in Michigan to reopen.

Businesses that reopen must develop a COVID-preparedness plan and submit them to the state of Michigan.

In addition to retail and restaurants opening, office work will be able to resume if it cannot be done remotely.

This opening will come six days before the current stay-at-home order for the state is set to expire.

The governor encouraged Michiganders to stay safe when they are going out in public. She encouraged wearing masks, social distancing and hand-washing.

"The whole state's watching to make sure we get this right," Whitmer said of the reopening in northern Michigan. "We are counting on regions six and eight to get it right."

Michigan currently ranks sixth in the nation in COVID tests administered per day.

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