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Community updates: Friday, July 3

Coalition of Michigan restaurant and bar owners pledge to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines; City of Grand Rapids gives fireworks safety tips; and Kent County Animal Shelter gives tips on pets coping with fireworks.
Summertime at Millenium Park in Kent County.

Summertime at Millenium Park in Kent County. /Ann-Marie Jurek

Coalition of Michigan restaurant and bar owners pledge to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines

A growing group of restaurant and bar owners in Michigan are joining together to commit to COVID-19 safety guidelines laid out by public health officials.

Called the MI Restaurant Promise, the coalition of over 200 owners and counting will follow the guidelines set forth by the State of Michigan, local health departments, and the CDC. Their pledge follows Gov. Whitmer’s Wednesday executive order suspending indoor bar service to businesses earning more than 70% of their gross receipts from alcohol sales. The order was in response to an uptick in new COVID-19 cases statewide.

As restaurant owners and managers, we feel a sense of responsibility for the health and well-being of our employees, our guests, and the community at large,” the group said on its website, unveiled Thursday. “A desire to provide hospitality – the simple act of caring for our guests – is why many of us joined this industry to begin with.”

Dozens of Grand Rapids area owners are part of the group, including those who own Brewery Vivant, Donkey Taqueria, El Granjero Mexican Grill, HopCat, SpeakEZ Lounge, and more.

Among the actions participating restaurants and bars will take are providing daily wellness and temperature checks for staff, ensuring staff working closely with guests or co-workers wear clean masks, and being transparent with the public when there’s identified positive COVID tests on their teams.

In return, the owners are asking patrons to work with them in protecting public health. Among the actions requested of patrons are staying home if sick, wearing a face covering when entering and exiting establishments and when using the restroom, and maintaining proper physical distancing.

Though our entire industry is fighting for survival, our greatest concern is for the safety of our team members and guests,” the group continued. “Please join us in committing to follow the guidelines set forth by public health experts and laid out in this promise. The future of our industry depends on it.”

More details about the MI Restaurant Promise are available on the coalition’s website. Spanish-language details are also available.


City of Grand Rapids gives fireworks safety tips

The City of Grand Rapids is reminding Grand Rapidians of important safety tips while celebrating the holiday weekend with fireworks.

Shared on its Facebook page on Friday are nine items to keep in mind. Among the items are not allowing young children to play with or ignite fireworks, lighting fireworks one at a time and quickly moving back, and dousing fireworks that are done burning with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before being disposed.

The city also gave a reminder that fireworks in Grand Rapids are only allowed until Saturday at 11:45pm. They’re also not allowed on any public land, such as streets, sidewalks, parks, and schools.


Kent County Animal Shelter gives tips on pets coping with fireworks

With fireworks being set off across the area over the weekend, the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) is encouraging pet owners to take precautions to help animals cope.

“This can be a difficult time for pets and pet owners,” said KSAS’ Program Supervisor, Namiko Ota-Noveskey. “We want to make sure pet owners know what to do in case their animal becomes anxious and who to call if they see stray animals who may have run away from home.”

Ota-Novesky offered seven fireworks tips for dog and cat owners. Among the tips are keeping pets indoors during fireworks to prevent them from running away, making sure pets have access to a comfortable place to hide, and muffling the sound of fireworks by closing all window and doors.

The full list of Ota-Novesky’s tips is available in a Tuesday statement from the Kent County Health Department. A Spanlish-language version is also available.


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