Health

Whitmer Vows More Normalcy in Michigan as Covid Vaccinations Increase

April 29, 2021, 9:58 AM by  Allan Lengel

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Gretchen Whitmer: "We can take steps to gradually get back to normal. (File photo)

Saying Covid-19 numbers in the state are trending in the right direction, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vows to move toward more normalcy in life as vaccination numbers increase.

Still, authorities acknowledge her new plan could change if a vaccine-resistant variant begins to spread.

Whitmer unveiled a "MI Vacc to Normal" plan at a Thursday press conference, explaining that she'll lift the requirement for remote work, when possible, two weeks after 4.5 million residents (55 percent of adults) get their first vaccine dose. Limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings will also change under a phased relaxation. 

“The MI Vacc to Normal challenge outlines steps we can take to emerge from this pandemic as we hit our vaccination targets together,” Whitmer said. “On our path to vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders 16 and up, we can take steps to gradually get back to normal while keeping people safe."

While Michigan's Covid numbers are improving, they still remain far too high, authorities acknowledge. On Wednesday, the state reported 4,371 new Covid cases and 38 deaths. Those numbers were more than double recently. 

Under the plan:

► After 55 percent of Michiganders (4,453,304 residents) are vaccinated and two weeks pass the state will allow in-person work for all businesses.

► When 60 percent of Michiganders (4,858,150 residents) are vaccinated and two weeks pass, the state will alow:

  • Increases in indoor capacity at sports stadiums to 25 percent.
  • Increases in indoor capacity at conference centers/banquet halls/funeral homes to 25 percent.
  • Increases in capacity at exercise facilities and gyms to 50 percent.
  • Restaurants and bars can lift curfews.   

► After 65 percent of people (5,262,996 residents) are vaccinated and two weeks pass, the state will allow: 

  • A lifting of all indoor capacity limits while still requiring social distancing between parties.
  • The relaxation of limits on residential social gatherings.  

► When 70 percent of residents (5,667,842 residents) are vaccinated and two weeks pass, the state will lift face mask requirements and limits on gatherings. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will no longer require "mitigation measures" unless circumstances change, such as the spread of vaccine-resistant variants.

Whitmer ended the press conference by saying: "Let's get back to normal." 



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