LANSING — While Governor Whitmer is encouraging continued mask use, she said that residents continuing to get vaccinated is the path out of the pandemic.
During a Wednesday morning press conference, Whitmer announced that the state has crossed the first benchmark in the “Mi Vacc to Normal” challenge, with 55 percent of residents having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
While no new announcements or changes to the epidemic order were made, Whitmer did say that in-office work can resume as early as Monday, May 24.
Vaccination rates have started to decline, but another 15 percent of the adult population needs to be vaccinated before mask restrictions can be lifted.
While the Pfizer vaccine can now be distributed to adolescents aged 12 through 15, it is not yet clear if adolescents being vaccinated will be taken into consideration in the Mi Vacc to Normal plan.
The Mi Vacc to Normal plan is a four-step plan to get the state back to pre-COVID conditions.
At step one, two weeks after 55 percent of Michiganders are vaccinated, the state’s requirement is for employers to require remote work when feasible, which has already been reached.
“We’re able to take this step forward thanks to every Michigander who has gotten their shot,” Whitmer said. “The next step will happen two weeks after 60 percent of Michiganders get their first doses.”
Step two, once 60 percent of Michiganders are fully vaccinated, indoor capacity at sports stadiums would be increased to 25 percent, indoor capacity at conference centers, banquet halls and funeral homes would be increased to 25 percent, exercise facilities and gym capacities would be increased to 50 percent and the curfew on restaurants and bars would be lifted.
At step three, when 65 percent of people are vaccinated, all indoor percentage capacity limits would be lifted, requiring only social distancing between parties.
Step four, once the state is at 70 percent vaccinated, gathering restriction and face mask orders would be lifted.