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Gov. Whitmer lifts mask requirement for fully vaccinated Michiganders

The new order will take effect on Saturday, May 15 at 9 a.m.
Gov. Whitmer to lift mask requirement for fully vaccinated Michiganders
Gov. Whitmer to lift mask requirement for fully vaccinated Michiganders(WILX)
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 11:50 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Fully vaccinated Michiganders no longer required to wear a mask or face covering indoors or outdoors.

Friday morning, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is updating the Gatherings and Mask Order to align with the latest guidance on face coverings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The new order will take effect on Saturday, May 15 at 9 a.m.

“For more than a year, we’ve been following the best data and science to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The vast majority of us have trusted the scientists and experts to keep us safe during the pandemic, and it has worked. With millions of Michiganders fully vaccinated, we can now safely and confidently take the next step to get back to normal.”

On Thursday, the CDC released updated guidance recommending “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

Under the updated MDHHS Gatherings and Mask Order:

  • Michiganders who are outdoors will no longer need to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.
  • While indoors, fully vaccinated Michiganders will no longer need to wear a mask
    • However, residents who are not vaccinated, or have not completed their vaccinations, must continue to wear a mask or face covering to protect themselves and others.
  • After July 1, the broad indoor mask mandate will expire.

“It’s critical that eligible Michigan residents who have not yet been vaccinated schedule their appointments as soon as they can,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and MDHHS chief deputy director for health. “Getting shots in arms is the best way to end the pandemic. If you have not yet been vaccinated, it is important to continue to mask up to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.”

Gov. Whitmer echoed Dr. Khaldun’s plea for Michigan residents to get vaccinated.

“The message is clear: vaccines work to protect you and your loved ones. If you have not yet received your vaccine, now is the time to sign up,” Gov. Whitmer said. “This pandemic has been one of the toughest challenges of our lifetimes, but we came together as a state to persevere. We have all been working incredibly hard toward getting back to some sense of normalcy, and today’s news makes all of that work worthwhile.”

The news was welcomed with bipartisan support.

“The new guidance from the CDC and the state’s loosening of the mask mandate in a safe way is very welcome to our communities - we are excited to get back to normal,” Mayor Don Gerrie (R - Sault Ste Marie) said. “We appreciate the partnership efforts throughout our state and in our local communities in following the covid-safe guidelines and making sure vaccinations are readily accessible to residents in a fast and efficient manner. I am thankful every day for the amazing health care and public safety professionals we have in Michigan.”

As of Friday morning, Michigan has administered 7,875,785 vaccines. According to CDC data, 55.6% of Michiganders ages 16 and older have received at least one dose, with more than 43% percent of Michiganders ages 16 and older being fully vaccinated. The state has also administered the vaccine to 927 Michiganders between the ages of 12 to 15 years old.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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