Michigan lifts mask mandate for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Michigan has lifted the mask mandate for fully vaccinated people, effective on Saturday, May 15, at 9 a.m. 

This change comes a day after the CDC said that fully vaccinated people don't need to wear a mask in most situations. According to the guidance, vaccinated people don't need to wear masks in most indoor spaces and outdoors, even when there are crowds. They still should be worn in crowded indoor places, such as buses, planes, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services began reviewing the state's mask mandate after the CDC changes were announced. 

"With millions of Michiganders fully vaccinated, we can now safely and confidently take the next step to get back to normal," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. "The message is clear: vaccines work to protect you and your loved ones. If you have not yet received your vaccine, now is the time to sign up. This pandemic has been one of the toughest challenges of our lifetimes, but we came together as a state to persevere. We have all been working incredibly hard toward getting back to some sense of normalcy, and today's news makes all of that work worthwhile." 

Under the new state guidance, people who are not vaccinated should continue to wear masks while inside. They do not need to wear masks while outside. The mask order for unvaccinated people is in effect until July 1.

"This updated order keeps Michigan in alignment with CDC guidance that is based on the knowledge of health experts. I urge our residents to continue to be respectful of each other as we move forward," said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel.

While the state has changed its mask mandate, some jurisdictions could still require masks.

According to the CDC, masks do not need to be worn "except where required federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance."

Before the CDC issued the new guidance, Michigan's plan was to lift the mask order once 70% of all adults had received at least one dose of the vaccine under the Vacc to Normal Challenge. This means that all people would be required to wear a mask until that vaccine number was hit. Currently, just over 55% have received one dose.

Vacc to Normal set vaccine benchmarks required to lift COVID restrictions.

The first benchmark in the plan allows in-person office work to resume two weeks after 55% was hit. The next step would involve lifting the 11 p.m. curfew on bars and restaurants, increasing sports stadium capacity to 25%, upping banquet, conference center, and funeral home capacity to 25%, and allowing exercise facilities to operate at 50%.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unveils the 'MI Vacc to Normal' plan - when Michigan has 70% vaccinated, the mask order will be lifted two weeks later. Currently, Michigan is at 49%.