LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer officially revealed Michigan’s new schedule to remove COVID restrictions and get back to normal.
SUITE: 9 takeaways from Whitmer’s May 20, 2021 COVID update
On Wednesday, the governor’s office hinted that Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will update its pandemic order after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changes its recommendations for fully vaccinated people.
Less than 24 hours later, Whitmer held a COVID briefing and announced a revised MI Vacc To Normal plan as cases decline and the number of residents vaccinated increases.
Here is what is changing:
Whitmer announced that Michigan was adjusting its mask policy in accordance with new guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Last Thursday, the CDC released new mask guidelines, based on the strength of vaccines to prevent infections and spread among those vaccinated,” Whitmer said.
The guidelines say vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or socially move away indoors or outdoors, with the exception of certain medical spaces.
“We have adjusted our mask policy to match the CDC recommendation,” Whitmer said. “So now in Michigan, fully immunized people no longer need to wear a mask outside or inside unless their job or business requires it.”
On June 1, all external capacity limits will be lifted.
“We will maintain our mask rule, as already announced, but if not, lift all mitigation measures on outdoor gatherings, and will only keep a 50% capacity limit on indoor establishments,” Whitmer said. . “This means that an indoor social gathering like a wedding or funeral or a conference or graduation party will be allowed to resume at 50% capacity until June.”
In June, people who are not yet fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks when indoors, Whitmer said.
The MDHHS will officially release the updated order on Monday, she said.
On July 1, Michigan will take the final step of its reopening by lifting the general order of masks and gatherings and will no longer impose broad mitigation measures during the pandemic. Companies and workplaces have the right to demand masks beyond this date.
“Unless, of course, unforeseen circumstances arise,” Whitmer said. “We don’t expect that to happen. We consider this to be the last moment of these types of orders. “
There could be one or more targeted orders in place to protect vulnerable residents, the governor said.
“But for the most part, life will be back to normal,” Whitmer said.
Whitmer said that when the CDC changed its recommendations, it forced his administration to go back to the drawing board in terms of the MI Vacc To Normal plan. This is how the above changes happened.
“We went back to the drawing board,” Whitmer said. “Our plan originally had four stages, each tied to a percentage of Michiganders receiving the first hit, plus two weeks.”
Michigan hit the first milestone – 55% of residents aged 16 and over with at least one shot – on May 10, meaning all employees could return to work in person before May 24.
“Next Monday we’ll have a lot more details to share on the MIOSHA rules for COVID-19 workplace safety,” Whitmer said.
Michigan only has the two stages outlined above before it returns to normal, Whitmer said.
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