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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces Michigan is dropping all COVID-19 restrictions on June 22

Posted at 1:36 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 17:34:58-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the state is dropping all COVID-19-related restrictions on June 22, more than a week before the original July 1 date.

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It comes more than 16 months since Michigan reported its first two cases of COVID-19 on March 10, 2020.

Just two weeks later, on March 24, 2020, the state announced a stay-at-home order. Since that time, there has been some form of a COVID-19 order in effect.

Originally, the state had tied loosened restrictions to the percentage of Michiganders with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but as vaccine rates slowed and we learned more, the state changed its rules.

“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 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. 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.”

On June 1, all outdoor gathering capacity limits were lifted and all indoor capacities were set at 50%, with other loosened rules in effect. Those who are fully vaccinated also didn’t have to wear masks.

The state had planned to drop the entire facemasks and gatherings order on July 1, but as cases continued to slow Whitmer said there was a chance she would drop restrictions sooner.

Michigan still has a goal of getting 70% of Michiganders vaccinated, but we just hit 60% on June 10, and it took us a month to get from 55% to 60%.

Several other states in the country and Midwest have dropped all restrictions.

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