Michigan Gov. Whitmer provides COVID update

Gov. outlines new schedule for lifting COVID rules

FILE - In this June 17, 2020, pool file photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks in Lansing, Mich. A federal appeals court late Wednesday, June 24, 2020, halted a lower judge's ruling and kept closed gyms and fitness centers that Whitmer ordered shut months ago to curb the coronavirus. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool, File)
FILE - In this June 17, 2020, pool file photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks in Lansing, Mich. A federal appeals court late Wednesday, June 24, 2020, halted a lower judge's ruling and kept closed gyms and fitness centers that Whitmer ordered shut months ago to curb the coronavirus. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool, File) (Michigan Governors Office)

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer held a news conference Thursday morning to provide an update on the state’s coronavirus pandemic and reopening plan.

The live stream for this event has ended.

From the briefing: Gov. Whitmer outlines Michigan’s new schedule for lifting COVID rules, getting life ‘back to normal’

Gov. Whitmer was joined Thursday by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist and several others.

The briefing comes just after news broke that the governor may soon relax more coronavirus restrictions in the state.

Whitmer’s office said Wednesday that the state may speed up its MI Vacc to Normal reopening plan, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s new guidance that fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most situations. In response to the CDC, last week the governor lifted Michigan’s mask mandate for most indoor and outdoor scenarios, effective Saturday, May 15.

List: Which Michigan stores still require masks to enter - and which don’t?

The state of Michigan is currently following a reopening plan that is tied to the number of residents who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, the state reports that 56.8 percent of Michigan residents 16 years old and older have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. Last week, the state reached its first reopening plan milestone of 55 percent of residents having received at least their first shot, which loosened restrictions for in-person work in the state, allowing it to resume two weeks later on May 24.

The next step of the state’s reopening plan will be reached once 60 percent of Michiganders receive at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, 4,858,150 state residents need to get a dose of the vaccine to reach that 60 percent threshold.

However, it is unclear just how those metrics might change with Whitmer’s update Thursday.

More: Whitmer to speed reopening plan that’s tied to vaccine rate

When the second step of the current reopening plan is reached, several changes will be made to Michigan’s restrictions, including capacity limits at indoor venues, gyms and the restaurant curfew.

Steps three and four in the MI Vacc to Normal plan are currently tied to 65 percent and 70 percent vaccination thresholds.

Related: 4 data points that show how Michigan COVID surge has slowed as vaccine coverage increased


About the Author: