This morning, Gov. Whitmer announced her path back to normal and to ease capacity limitations and gathering restrictions in Michigan. In the past, we have seen the pandemic response largely rely on various epidemic orders and somewhat unknown metrics.

As of today, 6.7 million doses have been administered in Michigan and it is anticipated that we will hit 7 million doses this weekend. Nearly 1 in 2 Michiganders or 48.8% have received their first dose of the vaccine, and to that end, Gov. Whitmer announced the new “Vacc to Normal Challenge” to guide our path out of the pandemic.

The challenge relies on specific metrics based on how many Michiganders age 16 and older have received their first dose in order to ease restrictions and masking requirements. Here’s a breakdown of the plan:

  • Two weeks after 55% of Michiganders (4,453,304 residents)  
    • Allows in-person work for all sectors of business.
    • Gov. Whitmer indicated this morning that the state is likely to reach this metric in the next several weeks.
  • Two weeks after 60% of Michiganders (4,858,150 residents)  
    • 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.
  • Two weeks after 65% of Michiganders (5,262,996 residents) 
    • Lifts all indoor % capacity limits, requiring only social distancing between parties.
    • Further relaxes limits on residential social gatherings.
  • Two weeks after 70% of Michiganders (5,667,842 residents)  
    • 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.

The goal after these metrics have been achieved is to keep epidemic orders to a minimum and only issue new restrictions if the medical system strains from new variants or other unanticipated complications arise. Additionally, if cases are high in any region, the state may delay lifting capacity limits in a particular area.

Also, in case you missed it, MDHHS released new guidance on end-of-year gatherings. The document specifically addresses graduations, proms, and other end-of-year parties and celebrations. Please click here to read that guidance.

Today’s update is certainly welcome news! We firmly believe that our schools have truly led the way through this pandemic, adapting to ever-changing circumstances and ensuring student and staff health and safety. While we are not quite out of the woods, we can see the end in sight due in large part to the work that school district leaders, like you, have done and continue to do every day. MASA stands ready to assist you and answer your questions as we navigate this next step. We anticipate an updated order tomorrow and will summarize that in tomorrow’s Legislative Update.

As always, please contact MASA with any questions or concerns.