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Michigan ending statewide mask mandate, returning to full capacity Tuesday

A few COVID-19 orders will remain in effect for long-term care facilities, required testing and reporting
Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 4:03 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Most of Michigan’s statewide COVID-19 orders are ending Tuesday.

The state mask mandate and gathering restrictions from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will be rescinded at midnight Tuesday morning. That means indoor and outdoor gatherings can return to 100% capacity while people don’t have to wear a face covering in most settings.

COVID-19 orders covering congregate care settings and juvenile justice facilities also are ending Tuesday.

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association welcomes the return to full capacity for indoor dining after 463 days of forced closures, capacity restrictions and increased scrutiny from regulators. The group says 1 in 6 restaurants across the state closed permanently during the coronavirus pandemic.

The association now plans to lobby for investment of federal funds to help struggling restaurants and hotels while pushing for changes to help businesses find enough employees.

“The challenges ahead remain daunting for many, but this industry is resilient, adaptive and ready to meet this newfound opportunity head on,” said Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the changes last week. But they don’t mean Michigan is completely done with COVID-19 restrictions.

Some orders will remain in effect for people living or working in densely populated settings like agriculture facilities, nursing homes and prisons. Orders that require testing and reporting COVID-19 results also will remain in place indefinitely.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services plans to issue guidance designed to prevent COVID-19 spread among students and educators this week.

Businesses, local governments and other public facilities can continue enforcing COVID-19 orders and restrictions as they deem necessary. MidMichigan Health plans to continue requiring face coverings in its hospitals and clinics despite the end of statewide orders.

“We are delighted to see the COVID numbers at an all-time low for our state and local communities. However, it is our priority to keep our patients safe and minimize any risk for potential exposure to the virus,” said Dr. Lydia Watson, the system’s chief medical officer and senior vice president.

Whitmer previously announced the end of most COVID-19 orders in Michigan for July 1, but the state health department accelerated the end by a week thanks to increasing vaccination rates and plummeting illness levels around the state this month.

Nearly half of Michigan adults are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 while over 60% have received at least one dose of vaccine. More than 9 million doses of vaccine have been administered across the state.

The rate of new COVID-19 illnesses in Michigan is down to 24.3 per million people every day while the percentage of positive tests remains below 2%.

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