COVID-19 epidemic orders end on June 22
Fri, 06/18/2021 - 5:03pm caleb
Governor’s office announces an early conclusion to restrictions related to gatherings and masking
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
June 22 will mark “the end of all COVID-19 epidemic orders on gatherings and masking” in Michigan, according to an announcement from the office of Governor Gretchen Whitmer released on Thursday, June 17.
On Thursday, May 20, Governor Whitmer announced that the MI Vacc to Normal Challenge, a multi-step plan for reopening the state, would be based on dates – June 1 and July 1 – instead of vaccination percentage. On June 1, the plan eased restrictions relating to gatherings, masking, and quarantining.
On July 1, the new plan was for Michigan to be “100 percent open except for a few targeted guidelines to keep vulnerable populations safe,” Governor Whitmer said on May 20, but the governor’s office announced last Thursday that lifting of restrictions would happen a few days early.
“Beginning June 22, capacity in both indoor and outdoor settings will increase to 100 percent and the state will no longer require residents to wear a face mask,” according to Governor Whitmer’s office.
Governor Whitmer’s office announced that the end of the orders was being “accelerated” because “COVID-19 cases continue to plummet following increased vaccinations.”
“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,” Governor Whitmer said. “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.”
Key COVID-19 numbers have all been decreasing, according to Governor Whitmer’s office.
“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 percent positivity rate over the last seven days,” according to Governor Whitmer’s office.
The Centers for Disease Control reported that as of Thursday, June 17, the United States has experienced 33,327,096 overall COVID-19 cases and 598,301 deaths from the virus during the pandemic. The State of Michigan reported 893,002 total cases and 19,598 overall deaths from COVID-19.
Locally, Munson Healthcare reported 14 COVID-19 inpatients in its hospital system as of last Thursday. District Health Department #10, which covers 10 northern Michigan counties (including Crawford), reported only two new cases in its region on Thursday, June 17 (one in Mecosta County and one in Oceana County).
State officials said a few COVID-19 measures will continue.
“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,” according to the governor’s office.