Whitmer says all COVID-19 restrictions will end June 22 in surprise announcement


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. - STATE OF MICHIGAN
  • State of Michigan
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

After more than 15 months, Michigan's COVID-19 pandemic restrictions will soon be over, says Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Capacity limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings, as well as mask-wearing requirements, will end on Tuesday, June 22 — earlier than Whitmer's previous plan to lift restrictions on July 1.

Whitmer made the surprise announcement on Thursday, though she has been hinting at it during press conferences with reporters in recent days.

"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," Whitmer said in a statement. "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."

Whitmer said the restrictions can be lifted because COVID-19 cases have plummeted in Michigan as more people get vaccinated.

"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," she said.

Nearly five million Michiganders ages 16 and older, or 60% of those eligible, have received their first vaccine dose, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

"This is a great day, however, there is more work to be done," Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS, said in a statement. "We can't let our guard down as there continue to be several variants of the COVID-19 virus circulating in our state, including the concerning Delta variant. The COVID-19 vaccine is the most important tool we have to reduce the spread of the virus and I urge everyone ages 12 and up who has not yet received their vaccine to get it as soon as possible. Talk to your health care provider, your local health department, or your neighborhood pharmacist about joining the millions of Michiganders who have received their vaccine."

Some orders will remain in effect, including orders meant to protect vulnerable populations in corrections, long-term care, and agriculture. COVID-19 reporting requirements and testing will also remain.

If you haven't already, get your vaccine. You can find out where at Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine and VaccineFinder.org.

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