Local DJ

COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan have put a halt on many special events.

COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan have put a halt on many special events.

2020 didn't go as planned for Casey Rusch. He is a DJ and part owner of Rusch Entertainment in Freeland.

"We went from ballrooms to backyards. Our business was down about 90%," Rusch said.

Through it all Rusch said a lot of couples stayed committed to his company and moved their big day to venues outside the great lakes state.

"I was just in Florida last week doing a wedding in Orlando. And we've done multiple weddings in Florida now. And we have been in Ohio and Indiana and surrounding states," Rusch said.

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association said Rusch Entertainment isn't alone.

"The current capacity limit of 25 people for banquet halls and event centers is dramatically out of line with our surrounding states. We are seeing countless event bookings canceled and being hosted in neighboring states as a result," said President and CEO of the MRLA Justin Winslow.

The MDHHS said it will continue to make decisions on based on the best available science and data.

"COVID-19 spreads more easily in indoor settings where individuals socialize without masks. The presence of more infectious variants, such as the B.1.1.7 variant, threatens our progress in control of the epidemic and MDHHS will be monitoring data closely," said MDHHS Spokesperson Lynn Sutfin.

Sutfin went on to say that three metrics, case rates, percent positivity, and hospitalizations will be used to make decisions. In the meantime, Rusch and the MRLA say time is running out for venues to prepare for any sort of summer season.

"All of our DJ's wear masks, hand sanitizer, we bring everything to the wedding to be as safe as possible. We're just hoping that weddings and private events can get the go. I think I speak on behalf of a lot of wedding professionals that we really want to see things open up safely starting in May hopefully," Rusch said.

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