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New mask rules go into effect in Michigan

Fully vaccinated people who are not experiencing symptoms are not required to wear masks at residential gatherings.

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Tuesday that masks will no longer be required at outdoor events of under 100 people. In addition, fully vaccinated people who are not experiencing symptoms are not required to wear masks at residential gatherings. This includes indoors.

The update also says athletes who are fully vaccinated and not experiencing symptoms will not need to be regularly tested for COVID-19. Masks will still be required for contact sports, but not for outdoor, non-contact sports.

These updated guidelines go into effect Thursday, May 6 and continue through Monday, May 31.

“The commitment by Michiganders to receive the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is allowing us to move toward a return to normal,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “The vaccines work. That means once Michiganders are fully vaccinated, they do not have to abide by as many health guidelines because of the protection the vaccine provides from the spread of the virus. Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer launched the MI Vacc to Normal plan to set vaccine milestones to enable a return toward normalcy. This week we are taking further steps in that direction.”

To date, 39.3% of Michigan residents 16 and older have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and 50.6% have received at least a first dose.

 “Vaccines give you the freedom and peace of mind to be able to do more things, but we still have work to do to reach our goal of vaccinating at least 70% of residents ages 16 and up," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. "Get one of the three safe and effective vaccines as soon as you are able, and please remember you need to get your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to get the full immunity that these vaccines offer.”  

The MDHHS said non-vaccinated people should continue to wear masks when around anyone not from their household.

The updated guidelines are:

  • Large outdoor events, including festivals, fairs, and golf tournaments will be able to exceed the current 1,000-person limit so long as they create and post a safety plan consistent with the MDHHS Large Outdoor Event Guidance, and no more than 20 persons per 1,000 square feet are gathered in any space available to patrons.  
  • Outdoor stadiums and arenas: 
    • Stadiums complying with enhanced protocols will continue to be allowed to operate at 20% of their fixed seating capacity. For example, a stadium with a maximum capacity complying with enhanced protocols would be permitted to host 8,000 patrons. 
    • Otherwise, for stadiums or arenas with a fixed seating capacity of 5,000 or greater without enhanced protocols 1,000 patrons may be gathered (previously 750). 
    • For stadiums or arenas with a fixed seating capacity of 10,000 or greater without enhanced protocols 1,500 patrons may be gathered. 
  • Residential outdoor gatherings are allowed up to 50 people. Or, where density does not exceed 20 persons per 1,000 square feet of usable outdoor space, up to 300 people may be gathered.   

The MDHHS still encourages Michiganders to follow CDC guidelines even when it is not mandated. 

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