Traverse City News and Events

Whitmer Announces Plan To Lift Restrictions Based On Vaccination Rates

By Beth Milligan | April 29, 2021

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a plan Thursday to lift COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan in four phases based on statewide vaccination rates. 

Each phase of the "MI Vacc to Normal" plan will kick in two weeks after a certain percentage of residents over the age of 16 have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The phases are as follows:

> When 55 percent of Michiganders are vaccinated, in-person work will return for office buildings and all industry sectors.
> When 60 percent of Michiganders are vaccinated, capacity at sports stadiums, conference centers, banquet halls, and funerals will be raised to 25 percent. Gym capacity will be raised to 50 percent, and curfews will be removed from bars and restaurants.
> When 65 percent of Michiganders are vaccinated, all indoor capacity limits will be lifted - with social distancing still required. Limits on social gatherings will also be relaxed. 
> When 70 percent of Michiganders are vaccinated, face mask orders will be lifted and all limits on gatherings will be lifted. The state could maintain restrictions if case rates remain high in certain areas or if vaccine-resistant variants start spreading, which has so far not been the case in Michigan.

The 55 percent threshold could be reached in the next week to 10 days, Whitmer said at a press conference Thursday. Because phases kick in two weeks after a threshold is hit - allowing immunity to build in those who received vaccines - that means Michigan could reach phase one by the end of May. Nearly 49 percent of Michigan's population over 16, or 3.9 million residents, have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, while nearly 36 percent are completely vaccinated.

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