The plummeting rate of new COVID-19 cases in Michigan has convinced Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to lift the remaining capacity rates on restaurants, bars and indoor gatherings nine days earlier than expected.
The state had already planned on lifting capacity limits July 1, but Whitmer said Thursday those restrictions will lifted Tuesday. Mask-wearing mandates for unvaccinated Michiganders will also be lifted.
Capacities for bars, restaurants, gyms and movie theaters will be back at 100%, according to the governor’s office.
The changes largely bring to an end pandemic rules that have been in place in one way or another since March 2020.
“Today is a day 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 release. 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,” she added.
Michigan’s new- case rate have dropped for the last eight weeks after a spring 2021 surge. Last week, the state reported 1,786 cases, one of the lowest counts since the pandemic began.
The state’s positivity rate among those tested and the percentage of hospital beds used by COVID-19 patients – the other two metrics the state has been watching keenly – have also dropped.
According to statistics kept by the state, some 61% of Michigan’s population 16 and older have gotten at least their first dose of vaccine. Half of the state’s adults have been fully 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,” Whitmer said. “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 Michigan’s families, small businesses and communities emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever before,” she added.