‘Masks are still important’ -- Gov. Whitmer holds in-depth COVID briefing

‘It’s how we keep people safe,’

Gov. Whitmer applauds vaccine expansion as cases continue to decline in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer praised Michigan’s drop in daily COVID cases, test positivity and hospitalization rates during a press conference Wednesday.

READ: 11 takeaways from COVID briefing: Restriction changes, Whitmer’s Florida trip, metrics ‘progress’

It was a broad press conference that covered everything vaccination rates, new guidelines reopening the state and more.

Whitmer officially announced May 24 will be the day offices will be able to reopen under the guidance of the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), which has filed to move emergency pandemic orders to be more permanent-standing orders.

MORE: Here are the Michigan COVID restrictions that will be lifted when we reach 4 vaccine goals

Whitmer also touted the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ updated mask guidelines for those fully vaccinated.

“Going forward, fully vaccinated people do not need to mask up anymore when gathered indoors at a residence,” Whitmer said. “Outside the home, masks are only required at outdoor gatherings with more than 100 people.”

Indoor masks are still needed in stores and businesses.

“I want to be clear. Masks are still an important tool to keep yourself, your family and the most vulnerable among us safe, especially indoors,” Whitmer said. “It’s how we keep people safe.”

Whitmer and Dr. Joneigh Khaldun both urged parents to get their eligible children vaccinated after speaking with their family doctors.

“This will mean less missed school because of quarantine, fewer missed sports practices and games are returned to birthday parties, sleep overs and -- most importantly -- our kids would have a much lower risk of getting ill from this terrible virus,” Khaldun said. “Kids are not immune to COVID-19.”

But with the number of vaccines given each day appearing to slow, Whitmer and Khaldun urged for more people to come forward. This time enlisting primary care doctors calling on those doctors to keep stocks of the vaccine.

“Vaccines are our best chance of putting this pandemic behind us and returning to normal. They represent hope and healing,” Whitmer said. “If you want to learn more, I encourage you to talk to your family doctor and learn more about how the safe, effective vaccines can save your life and the lives of those who love.”

RELATED: Tracking COVID-19 vaccines in Michigan: New openings, clinics, appointments

About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.