Michigan lifts mask requirements for fully vaccinated residents, matching CDC guidelines

Broad mask order will expire July 1

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a May 12, 2021, COVID-19 briefing.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a May 12, 2021, COVID-19 briefing. (WDIV)

Michigan is lifting mask requirements for most indoor and outdoor settings for fully vaccinated residents, matching newly issued guidance from the CDC.

The new order took effect Saturday, May 15 at 9 a.m.

Under the updated MDHHS Gatherings and Mask Order, Michiganders who are outdoors will no longer need to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.

While indoors, fully vaccinated Michiganders will no longer need to wear a mask, but residents who are not vaccinated, or have not completed their vaccinations, must continue to wear a mask or face covering to protect themselves and others.

After July 1, the broad indoor mask mandate will expire.

Businesses and local communities may still have mask requirements, which customers and residents have to follow, for instance, at your local grocery store.

Before the CDC issued new guidance on masks on Thursday, Michigan planned to lift the masking mandate when 70% of residents 16 and older had received at least one vaccine dose. As of Thursday, May 13, 55.6% had one dose.

“For more than a year, we’ve been following the best data and science to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The vast majority of us have trusted the scientists and experts to keep us safe during the pandemic, and it has worked. With millions of Michiganders fully vaccinated, we can now safely and confidently take the next step to get back to normal. The message is clear: vaccines work to protect you and your loved ones. If you have not yet received your vaccine, now is the time to sign up. This pandemic has been one of the toughest challenges of our lifetimes, but we came together as a state to persevere. We have all been working incredibly hard toward getting back to some sense of normalcy, and today’s news makes all of that work worthwhile.”

Related: Meijer, Kroger will continue to require masks in all Michigan stores

“It’s critical that eligible Michigan residents who have not yet been vaccinated schedule their appointments as soon as they can,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and MDHHS chief deputy director for health. “Getting shots in arms is the best way to end the pandemic. If you have not yet been vaccinated, it is important to continue to mask up to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.”

“The safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine and all the hard work that Michiganders have done allows us to take a big step in returning to normal,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “This updated order keeps Michigan in alignment with CDC guidance that is based on the knowledge of health experts. I urge our residents to continue to be respectful of each other as we move forward.”

CDC -- Choosing Safer Activities graphic -- May 13, 2021 (WDIV)

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