Michigan Mask Mandate Lifted for Fully Vaccinated Residents
UPDATE (May 14, 2021 11:40 a.m.): Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has updated its Gatherings and Mask Order to align with the CDC's latest guidance. The new order will go into effect Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 9 a.m. EST.
In a release, Governor Whitmer said, "With millions of Michiganders fully vaccinated, we can now safely and confidently take the next step to get back to normal."
Under the updated order from the MDHSS, Michiganders who are outdoors will no longer need to mask up regardless of their vaccination status. The biggest change will be that fully vaccinated Michiganders will no longer need to wear a mask indoors. Those who are not vaccinated or have not completed their vaccinations will still be required to wear a mask or face covering. The broad indoor mask mandate will expire after July 1, 2021.
ORIGINAL STORY: The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing the mask mandate after the CDC announced that those who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.
Michigan is one of 25 states that still have a mask mandate. The governor has not lifted the mask mandate and all other restrictions in the MI Vacc to Normal Plan. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants the state to reach its goal of 70% vaccinated first. Currently 55% of the Michigan population has received two doses of vaccine.
Under the Vacc to Normal Plan, hitting 55% of the population vaccinated means that Michiganders who were previously working from home can return to the workplace.
Dr. Matthew Sims, the director of infectious disease research at Beaumont Hospital told Fox 17,
"You know there is a good chance that we might not get there, the numbers are slowing down a lot. COVID is probably never going away fully, but the vaccine should be able to bring us to where it's more like the flu."
If Michigan averages 100,000 vaccines a week, it will take 3 1/2 months for all measures to be lifted, including masks, which would be sometime in September.
Michiganders age 12 to 15 are now eligible to start receiving the vaccine. Many vaccine clinics throughout Michigan have started accepting walk-ins for vaccinations including the clinic at DeVos Place in Downtown Grand Rapids. That clinic will be closing May 22.
Appointments for the vaccine are currently also available for that age group at pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS.
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