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EAST LANSING, Mich. — It was announced today, March 15 that the legal occupancy load at licensed food service establishments will be reduced by 50 percent by order of the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) effective March 16, 2020 at 5 p.m. through April 5, 2020 at 5 p.m. View ICHD’s press release for more information.This new order will cap the current allowed capacity at licensed food service establishments by 50 percent (excluding employees) or the limit of 250 people, whichever is less, as required by the executive order issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last week.“This is a pandemic, and everyone has a role to play,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail at a press conference today regarding novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions. “In addition to handwashing, social distancing is one of the most impactful things we can do at this time.”“While we understand that this order will have an impact on our businesses, we do think it is the prudent thing to do during this public health emergency in order to minimize gatherings and encourage social distancing, especially with Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations expected on Tuesday,” said East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas.Both orders are enforceable by local law enforcement, and the East Lansing Police Department also plans to be out in the community on Saint Patrick’s Day enforcing all relevant party ordinances as well as blockages of sidewalks per the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code.During this period of heightened awareness and concern surrounding COVID-19, East Lansing student residents, visitors and other community members are strongly encouraged to take an active role in preventing the spread of the virus and should protect themselves and others by avoiding large crowds. Prevention guidance from state health officials should also be followed: