Republican Senators in Lansing have proposed a plan to reopen Michigan safely and suggest banning the public from attending sporting events, festivals, and concerts until a vaccine for COVID-19 is found or there's been no active spread of the virus for 30 days.
Michigan Senators unveiled the "Open Michigan Safely" proposal on Thursday, saying they believe is their "responsibility to propose a framework for Michiganders to live life in the presence of COVID-19."
Earlier in the day on Thursday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced she was working with 6 other Great Lakes region governors to work on a plan to reopen the economy. There was no timetable put forth in that announcement.
GOP Senators said there is enough data and experience to allow us to transition from essential to a new standard that would be defined as 'safe', specifically when it comes to workplaces.
In the plan, there are five phases.
Phase 1, where cases and deaths are rising and the healthcare system is being overwhelmed and businesses that are allowed to operate should be only those deemed essential. Mobility would be limited to low-risk businesses and masks should be worn in public. This is the Stay-At-Home order, that Michigan is currently under.
Phase 2, cases and deaths have been falling for five out of seven days and the healthcare systems are below 75% capacity. Lower risk businesses can operate with extreme social distancing. Masks should still be worn and people with symptoms would self-isolate for two weeks. Large gatherings would still be prohibited.
Phase 3, cases and deaths fall for 17 of 21 days and healthcare systems are below 50%. Businesses can open with social distancing but bars and restaurants would be limited to 50% capacity with groups sitting 6 feet from each other. Gatherings of 100 would not be allowed. Masks should still be worn and vulnerable people should still stay home.
Phase 4, cases and deaths fall for 19 of 21 days and healthcare systems are below 33%. Individuals can be tested for the virus or antibody, businesses can be open and bars and restaurants would be open for full seating capacity. Gatherings of 250 or more would not be allowed.
Michigan confirms 1,204 new COVID-19 cases, 172 more deaths on Thursday
Phase 5, no active spread for 30 days or a vaccine is available for 30 days. All businesses would be open and able to operate. Individuals with symptoms should still stay home.
The vaccine would not be available until late this year, at the earliest.
The proposal would have to pass all levels of legislation in Lansing, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office.
Each Phase has more requirements than listed above. To read the full plan, go the Republican Senator's page here.