LANSING, Mich. – Michigan is lifting all of its COVID restrictions for capacity, masks and gatherings next week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced this week.
On Tuesday (June 22), both indoor and outdoor settings in Michigan will increase to 100% capacity, and face masks will no longer be required. Individual businesses will still be allowed to require masks.
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Michigan was originally supposed to fully reopen July 1, but with more than 9 million vaccines administered and COVID cases plummeting, that timeline has been accelerated.
“Today is a day that we have all been looking forward to, as we can safely get back to normal day-to-day activities and put this pandemic behind us,” Whitmer said.
Michigan’s COVID case rates, percent positivity and hospitalizations have all plummeted over the past several weeks. Michigan is currently at 24.3 cases per million with a 1.9% positivity rate over the last seven days.
“This is great news and a day all of us have been looking forward to for more than a year,” said Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “We have said all along that the vaccine would help us return to a sense of normalcy and today we announce that day is here.”
Here are some of the other orders that are being rescinded June 22, in addition to the gatherings and mask order:
- Temporary restrictions for entry into congregate care and juvenile justice facilities
- Mandatory testing for MDHHS’ juvenile justice facility staff
- Mandatory testing for MDHHS hospitals and centers staff
- Exceptions to temporary restrictions on entry into congregate care and juvenile justice facilities
- Exceptions to temporary restrictions on entry into certain facilities
- Safe housing for housing unstable individuals
- Handling of bodily remains
- Safe housing for Michigan homeless
Some orders will remain in effect to protect vulnerable populations in corrections, long-term care and agricultural settings, according to the state.
Public health measures will continue for reporting requirements and COVID testing to make sure areas where community spread is high are identified, children are safe in school and free COVID tests are available, the state announced. Guidance for keeping children and staff safe in schools will be released next week.
“This is a great day, however, there is more work to be done,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “We can’t let our guard down as there continue to be several variants of the COVID-19 virus circulating in our state, including the concerning Delta variant.”
MDHHS will continue to provide recommendations to keep Michiganders safe and reduce the risk of spreading the virus in higher-risk settings and places where vulnerable populations or populations with large numbers of individuals are not yet fully vaccinated, state officials said.
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“We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the medical experts and health professionals who stood on the front lines to keep us all safe, and we are incredibly thankful to all of the essential workers who kept our state moving,” Whitmer said. “Thanks to the millions of Michiganders who rolled up their sleeves to get the safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine, we have been able to make these changes ahead of schedule.”
Nearly five million Michiganders ages 16 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, according to CDC data. Half of Michigan residents have completed their vaccination, and over 60% have gotten their first shots, data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry shows.
Related: Half million excess COVID vaccine doses set to expire in Michigan