Gov. Whitmer Accelerates ‘MI Vacc to Normal’ Plan with Two Phases

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Updated as of May 24, 2021.

Gov. Whitmer Accelerates ‘MI Vacc to Normal’ Plan, Now Features Two Steps to Get the State Back to Normal by July 1st 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced an updated ‘Vacc to Normal’ plan on May 20, 2021, which outlines steps Michiganders can take to emerge from this pandemic. As of June 1, capacity limits will lift for outdoor events. Additionally, indoor capacity limits will increase to 50%, allowing indoor social gatherings such as weddings and funerals to move closer to normalcy. As of July 1, the state will no longer limit capacity at indoor or outdoor gatherings.

To reflect these changes, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), released an updated epidemic order on May 24. Throughout the month of June, people who are not yet fully vaccinated will still be required to mask up while indoors. View the latest at michigan.gov/coronavirus.


Gov. Whitmer Unveiled Original ‘MI Vacc to Normal’ Plan on April 29, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today set the state of Michigan on a pathway to return to normal by unveiling the ‘MI Vacc to Normal’ plan as the state continues to push toward its goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders ages 16 years or older. To facilitate this goal, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will base future epidemic order actions on four vaccination-based milestones that, once achieved, will enable Michigan to take a step toward normalcy.

Since Gov. Whitmer asked Michiganders to double down on smart public health policies on April 9, Michigan has made significant progress to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. The number of daily cases has dropped from 649.9 cases per million to 439.3 cases per million, the percent of positive tests has declined from 18.3%  to 13.2%, and the number of hospitalizations has fallen from 3,780 to 3,520.

Recently, Michigan reached another vaccination milestone in record time — administering more than six million doses of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, with the latest one million doses being administered in 11 days. Although progress has been made, it is crucial that Michiganders continue to mask up and socially distance as the state takes steps to get back to normal. It is also crucial for everyone to get their second doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which Michiganders have been doing at a rate of 96.4%, above the national average.

Michigan continues to have some of the strongest public health policies in the Midwest. The state still has a mask mandate and capacity limitations on indoor dining, indoor gatherings, and entertainment venues. As the number of vaccinations increases, experts have said that states can begin loosening some public health policies as these activities become less risky for vaccinated individuals.

The ‘MI Vacc to Normal’ plan will use four vaccination-based milestones — using data for Michiganders 16 years or older who’ve received their first dose — to guide future steps required to get back to normal:

  • 55% of Michiganders (4,453,304 residents), plus two weeks
    • Allows in-person work for all sectors of business.
  • 60% of Michiganders (4,858,150 residents), plus two weeks
    • Increases indoor capacity at sports stadiums to 25%.
    • Increases indoor capacity at conference centers/banquet halls/funeral homes to 25%.
    • Increases capacity at exercise facilities and gyms to 50%.
    • Lifts the curfew on restaurants and bars.
  • 65% of Michiganders (5,262,996 residents), plus two weeks
    • Lifts all indoor % capacity limits, requiring only social distancing between parties.
    • Further relaxes limits on residential social gatherings.
  • 70% of Michiganders (5,667,842 residents), plus two weeks
    • Lifts the Gatherings and Face Masks Order such that MDHHS will no longer employ broad mitigation measures unless unanticipated circumstances arise, such as the spread of vaccine-resistant variants.

This announcement is a promising step forward toward the safe, strategic return to the office for which the Detroit Regional Chamber and MICHauto have continued to advocate. These forward strides are crucial to the recovery of the Detroit Region and statewide economy. Businesses can reference the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Return-to-Office Workgroup’s recently released recommendations for this process.

If new cases remain greater than 250 daily/million as a 7-day average in a Michigan Economic Recovery Committee (MERC) region at the time of implementing steps 2 through 3, MDHHS may delay implementation in that MERC region.

To date, Michigan has administered 6,657,997 vaccines. Currently, 48.8% of Michiganders ages 16 and older have received at least one dose, with 35.9% of Michiganders ages 16 and older being fully vaccinated, moving the state closer to its goal of equitably vaccinating at least 70% of Michiganders ages 16 and older as soon as possible.


Related:

Business Leaders Send Letter To Gov. Whitmer About Returning To The Office

MICHauto Letter to State Workgroup Urges Safe Reopening of Offices


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