LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday that all COVID-19 epidemic orders on gatherings and masking will be lifted June 22. The restrictions were scheduled to be lifted July 1, but a continued downward trend in new cases has accelerated the process, according to the state.
“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. “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. Our top priority going forward is utilizing the federal relief funding in a smart, sustainable way as we put Michigan back to work and jumpstart our economy. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure that Michigan’s families, small businesses, and communities emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever before.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly five million Michiganders ages 16 and older have received their first vaccine dose. Whitmer cited plummeting case rates, positivity percentage and hospitalizations as reasons for the early reopening of the state.
“This is a great day, however, there is more work to be done,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “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.”
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