Michigan lifts mask requirements for outdoor gatherings with less than 100 people

Order goes into effect May 6 through May 31

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Tuesday that masks will generally not be required at outdoor gatherings that has less than 100 people.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Tuesday that masks will generally not be required at outdoor gatherings that has less than 100 people.

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Tuesday that masks will generally not be required at outdoor gatherings that has less than 100 people.

The new COVID-19 Gatherings and Face Masks epidemic order will go into effect May 6 through May 31.

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Additionally, officials said that anyone who is fully vaccinated and not experiencing symptoms will not be required to wear a mask at residential gatherings, which includes indoors.

“The commitment by Michiganders to receive the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is allowing us to move toward a return to normal,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “The vaccines work. That means once Michiganders are fully vaccinated, they do not have to abide by as many health guidelines because of the protection the vaccine provides from the spread of the virus. Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer launched the MI Vacc to Normal plan to set vaccine milestones to enable a return toward normalcy. This week we are taking further steps in that direction.”

The new guidance on organized sports will no longer require routine COVID-19 testing if fully vaccinated players are asymptomatic. Masks will continue to be required for contact sports but not for outdoors during active practice and competition for non-contact sports.

READ: Pfizer COVID vaccine may soon be granted Emergency Use Authorization for younger people

According to state officials, 39.3% of Michiganders 16 and older have been fully vaccinated, with 50.6% having received at least a first dose.

“Getting your vaccine is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “Vaccines give you the freedom and peace of mind to be able to do more things, but we still have work to do to reach our goal of vaccinating at least 70% of residents ages 16 and up. Get one of the three safe and effective vaccines as soon as you are able, and please remember you need to get your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to get the full immunity that these vaccines offer.”

Updates to the Gatherings and Masks Order encourage outdoor events with larger capacities permitted for entertainment and recreational facilities and for sports stadiums and arenas that hold events outdoors. This includes:

  • Large outdoor events, including festivals, fairs, and golf tournaments will be able to exceed the current 1,000-person limit so long as they create and post a safety plan consistent with the MDHHS Large Outdoor Event Guidance, and no more than 20 persons per 1,000 square feet are gathered in any space available to patrons.
  • Outdoor stadiums and arenas:
    • Stadiums complying with enhanced protocols will continue to be allowed to operate at 20% of their fixed seating capacity. For example, a stadium with a maximum capacity complying with enhanced protocols would be permitted to host 8,000 patrons.
    • Otherwise, for stadiums or arenas with a fixed seating capacity of 5,000 or greater without enhanced protocols 1,000 patrons may be gathered (previously 750).
    • For stadiums or arenas with a fixed seating capacity of 10,000 or greater without enhanced protocols 1,500 patrons may be gathered.
  • Residential outdoor gatherings are allowed up to 50 people. Or, where density does not exceed 20 persons per 1,000 square feet of usable outdoor space, up to 300 people may be gathered.

About the Authors:

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.