Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced (6/17) an accelerated end of all COVID-19 epidemic orders on gatherings and masking as COVID-19 cases continue to plummet following increased vaccinations. Beginning June 22, capacity in both indoor and outdoor settings will increase to 100% and the state will no longer require residents to wear a face mask.
“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,” said Governor Whitmer. “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. 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. Our top priority going forward is utilizing the federal relief funding in a smart, sustainable way as we put Michigan back to work and jumpstart our economy. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure that Michigan’s families, small businesses, and communities emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever before.”
Nearly five million Michiganders ages 16 and older have received their first vaccine dose, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. According to data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, half of Michigan residents have completed their vaccination and over 60% have gotten their first shots.
“This is great news and a day all of us have been looking forward to for more than a year,” said Elizabeth Hertel, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director. “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.”
Case rates, percent positivity and hospitalizations have all plummeted over the past several weeks. Currently, Michigan is experiencing 24.3 cases per million and has recorded a 1.9% positivity rate over the last seven days.
“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. The COVID-19 vaccine is the most important tool we have to reduce the spread of the virus and I urge everyone ages 12 and up who has not yet received their vaccine to get it as soon as possible. Talk to your health care provider, your local health department or your neighborhood pharmacist about joining the millions of Michiganders who have received their vaccine.”
In addition to the Gatherings and Mask Order, additional orders are being rescinded as of June 22. These include:
- Temporary Restrictions for Entry into Congregate Care and Juvenile Justice Facilities
- Mandatory Testing for Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Juvenile Justice Facility Staff
- Mandatory Testing for Michigan Department of Health and Human Services 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
Additionally, some orders will remain in effect to protect vulnerable populations in corrections, long-term care and agriculture. Public health measures will continue for reporting requirements and COVID testing to make sure areas where community spread is high are identified, kids are safe in school and free COVID-19 tests are available. Guidance for keeping children and staff safe in schools will be released next week.