Michigan to lift COVID-19 outdoor capacity limits on June 1, increase indoor capacity to 50%

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a press conference Thursday morning from the Dow Diamond in Midland to give an update on Michigan's COVID-19 response and the Vacc to Normal plan, which is now just two steps.

On June 1, Whitmer announced all outdoor capacity limits will be lifted. That means Comerica Park and Dow Diamond and other outside venues can allow full capacity. Additionally, she said all mask regulations will still be in place but mitigation measures will be lifted. Additionally, indoor capacity limits will be creased to 50%. That means weddings, graduations, and more will allow more people to celebrate together.

On July 1, Whitmer said the state will take its final step and lift the broad mask and gatherings order. The state will no longer impose broad mitigation orders unless unforeseen circumstances arise - like variants that are resistant to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Whitmer said she asked all residents to be considerate and respectful of all residents in the coming weeks as the mask changes are made. She asked for people to extend each other grace and that some people will still feel comfortable wearing a mask.

"After a year of living with covid with masks and distancing and handwashing, I know how jarring changes to our lives will feel," Whitmer said. "Everyone processes change at different speeds and different ways."

Whitmer said businesses and workplaces are still well within their rights to require masks for patrons to enter.

Whitmer also touted Michigan's vaccine rate, which is just under 60%. To date, 7.9 million doses of the COVID-19 have been administered in Michigan and cases and test positivity rates have declined for five straight weeks.

"The way to put this pandemic behind us is for everyone to get their shot. The vaccine is the best way to keep you and your family, and the most vulnerable among us, safe from COVID-19," Whitmer said.

The governor stressed for those who are concerned about getting the vaccine to consult their doctors.

Whitmer was expected to share plans for easing more restrictions, Right now there are capacity limits on restaurants, bars, gyms, sporting events, banquet halls, and gatherings. Bars and restaurants also have an 11 p.m. curfew.

READ: Michigan expected to relax more COVID-19 restrictions

The sources did not say which restrictions Whitmer's administration plans to ease.

Last week, the governor announced that people who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks indoors and people who are not vaccinated no longer need to wear them outside.

Related: Michigan lifts mask mandate for people fully vaccinated

At the time, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel said the state's Vacc to Normal plan was not impacted, but that officials would be evaluating restrictions in the coming days.

That plan set vaccine benchmarks for when restrictions would be lifted. However, the mask mandate was changed before the state hit the milestone for lifting that restriction because the CDC said vaccinated people could be indoors without masks.

Right now, just under 57% of people 16 and older have received one dose. If following Vacc to Normal, the mask mandate wouldn't have been lifted until 70% had at least one dose.

Under Vacc to Normal, capacity limits on indoor stadiums, banquet halls, funeral homes, and gyms, as well as bar and restaurant curfews, would be lifted after 60% of Michigan adults have at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. All indoor capacity limits would be lifted at 65%.