During a press conference this morning, April 29, Governor Whitmer announced new standards to reopening Michigan’s spaces that have been restricted to low-capacity limits.
The ‘MI Vacc to Normal’ plan will use four vaccination-based milestones — using data for Michiganders 16 years or older who’ve received their first dose – to guide future steps required to get back to normal:
- 55% of Michiganders (4,453,304 residents), plus two weeks
- Allows in-person work for all sectors of business.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
“To have goals in place that are achievable and allow us to plan for the future is welcome news after 13 months of uncertainty,” said Rick Baker, President and CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber. “This is the kind of guidance we have been asking for on behalf of our members. There is still work to be done to get West Michigan back on the track it was on pre-pandemic. We’ve known that vaccines could provide a path out of this pandemic and now, with these goals, we have a plan in place to continue moving the economy forward.”
Here’s how to make your vaccine appointment:
- Go to How To Get The Safe, Effective Vaccine and check the website of your local health department.
- Check local pharmacies: Rite Aid, Meijer, Cardinal (with Snyder), Kroger, CVS, SpartanNash (Topco), and Walgreens. CVS has expanded locations offering COVID-19 vaccine in Michigan and Meijer pharmacies are now providing COVID-19 vaccine at all stores.
- Call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 (press 1) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. or call 2-1-1.
To register for the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids go to West Michigan Vaccine Clinic (spectrumhealth.org).
Yesterday, prior to this announcement, we joined over 50 organizations in a letter to Governor Gretchen Whitmer, urging her and her team to reopen our indoor meeting, convention and event spaces:
- By June 1 at 50% capacity
- By July 1 at 75% capacity
With the vaccine rollout already well underway in Michigan, this schedule is on track with President Biden’s projections that we will have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May.
Our meeting, convention and event industry has been devastated by the pandemic. It was one of the first hit and remains among the most tightly restricted and deeply impacted. Tens of thousands of Michigan hotel, food service and venue workers lost their jobs. In fact, 38% of all jobs lost nationwide because of the pandemic were in the hospitality, entertainment and travel sector. No other industry and labor force has been hit harder.
With capacity limits at 25, many venues remain effectively shuttered and thousands remain out of work.
We are hopeful that these new guidelines will allow this industry to establish parity with Michigan restaurants and other businesses already at 50% or higher capacity and bring Michigan in line with neighboring Great Lakes States.