LANSING, Mich. – Michigan is going to lift specific COVID-19 restrictions when the state hits certain vaccination thresholds. Here’s a list of the rules that will be loosened when each goal is reached.
Tracking COVID-19 vaccines in Michigan: New openings, clinics, appointments
Step 1: 55% vaccinated
Two weeks after 55% of Michiganders -- or 4,453,304 residents -- have gotten at least one shot, the state will allow in-person work for all sectors of businesses, according to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Vaccines take two weeks after the final dose to reach their peak effectiveness, so each of these steps are triggered two weeks after the percentage threshold is met.
Right now, Michiganders aren’t supposed to return to in-person work unless their jobs can’t be done remotely. That requirement will apparently change once 55% of the state is vaccinated.
Step 2: 60% vaccinated
Two weeks after 60% of Michiganders -- or 4,858,150 residents -- have gotten at least one shot, the state will make significant changes to capacity restrictions.
Capacity for indoor sports stadiums, indoor conference centers, indoor banquet halls and indoor funeral homes will be increased to 25%.
Capacity at exercise facilities and gyms will be increased to 50%.
The curfew on restaurants and bars will be lifted at this stage in the plan. Right now, they are required to stop offering indoor dining at 11 p.m.
If any region’s seven-day case rate is greater than 250 cases per million population when Step 2 and Step 3 are reached, MDHHS might delay the loosening of restrictions in that region, according to a state release.
Step 3: 65% vaccinated
Two weeks after 65% of Michiganders -- or 5,262,996 residents -- have gotten at least one shot, the state will lift all indoor capacity limits and require only social distancing between parties, according to officials.
MDHHS will also further relax limits on residential social gatherings at this stage in the plan.
“By getting shots in their arms as soon as possible, Michiganders can protect themselves, their families and their communities and help end this pandemic as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Again, a high case rate in any specific geographical region might cause MDHHS to delay making these changes in that region.
Step 4: 70% vaccinated
Two weeks after 70% of Michiganders -- or 5,667,842 residents -- have gotten at least one shot, the state will lift the gatherings and face masks order so MDHSS won’t broadly mitigate it unless there are unanticipated circumstances.
An example of circumstances that could stop the order from being lifted would be the spread of a COVID-19 variant that can’t be stopped with the vaccine, officials said.
Since COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use, Michigan officials set a goal of vaccinating 70% of the population ages 16 and up. This plan is designed to get the state to that goal and reward residents at certain stages along the way.
“The MI Vacc to Normal challenge outlines steps we can take to emerge from this pandemic as we hit our vaccination targets together,” Whitmer said. “On our path to vaccinating 70% of Michiganders 16 and up, we can take steps to gradually get back to normal while keeping people safe.”