Saturday, December 4, 2021

Whitmer announces revised schedule to lift COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan

May 21, 2021
<p>Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at a press conference for a COVID-19 update on Nov. 19, 2020. Courtesy of Michigan Executive Office of the Governor.</p>

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at a press conference for a COVID-19 update on Nov. 19, 2020. Courtesy of Michigan Executive Office of the Governor.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer officially released Michigan’s new schedule to lift COVID-19 restrictions and return to normal. 

On Thursday, May 20 Whitmer held a briefing to announce Michigan’s revised MI Vacc To Normal plan as Michigan’s COVID cases decrease and the number of vaccinated people increase. 

“To date, Michigan has administered almost 7.9 million doses of the safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines to more than 4.6 million Michiganders ages 16 and up,” Whitmer said in her briefing. 

Whitmer said that cases and test positivity have declined for five straight weeks and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have declined for three straight weeks.

Prior to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, announcing that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or socially distance outdoors or indoors, the MI Vacc To Normal plan had four steps to return to normal as the percentage of vaccinated people increased. 

“The first step started at 55% and we hit that number pretty quickly,” Whitmer said in her briefing. “The following steps would have happened every 5% as our vaccinations grew.”  

Based on the new mask guidance, Whitmer announced that Michigan has two steps to get back to normal.

“We have adjusted our mask policy to match the CDC recommendation,” Whitmer said in her briefing. “In Michigan, fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors or indoors, unless required by their work or business.”

In addition, Whitmer announced that starting June 1 all outdoor capacity limits will be lifted and only retain a 50% capacity limit on indoor establishments.

“That means that an indoor social gathering, like a wedding, or a funeral, or a conference, or a graduation party will be allowed to resume at 50% capacity through the month of June,” Whitmer said in her briefing. 

Whitmer said that people who are not fully vaccinated by June 1 are still required to wear a mask indoors.

“As with every decision that we have made throughout the pandemic, we are leading with science and data to keep you and your family safe,” Whitmer said in her briefing.

The final step of Michigan’s revised MI Vacc To Normal plan begins July 1 where the broad mask mandate and gathering order will be lifted.  

“Unless, of course, unanticipated circumstances arise, we do not expect that to happen,” Whitmer said. “We look at this as the last moment of these types of orders.”

Whitmer said that they may have one or more targeted orders to protect vulnerable populations, but for the most part, life will be back to normal just in time for Independence Day.

“We will be able to sing at church, dance at weddings, cheer at games, hug each other and laugh together,” Whitmer said.  

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