While Michigan still has the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the nation, Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the end of the pandemic is in sight.
On Thursday, Whitmer said that the state would lift most pandemic restrictions when 70% of Michigan residents get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Whitmer says the restrictions will gradually be lifted as part of her “MI Vacc to Normal Challenge.” The phases are:
• Step 1 — 55% of Michiganders (4,453,304 residents), plus two weeks: Allows in-person work for all sectors of business.
• Step 2 — 60% of Michiganders (4,858,150 residents), plus two weeks: Increases indoor capacity at sports stadiums to 25%, increases indoor capacity at conference centers/banquet halls/funeral homes to 25%, increases capacity at exercise facilities and gyms to 50%, lifts the curfew on restaurants and bars.
• Step 3 — 65% of Michiganders (5,262,996 residents), plus two weeks: Lifts all indoor capacity limits, requiring only social distancing between parties, further relaxes limits on residential social gatherings.
• Step 4 — 70% of Michiganders (5,667,842 residents), plus two weeks: Lifts the Gatherings and Face Masks Order such that MDHHS will no longer employ broad mitigation measures unless unanticipated circumstances arise, such as the spread of vaccine-resistant variants.
So far, just 31% percent of eligible Michiganders age 16 and older have been fully vaccinated, and 42% have received at least one dose, according to the New York Times tracker.