September 26, 2021

Volume XI, Number 269

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Governor Announces Acceleration of Michigan’s “Vacc to Normal” Plan

On Thursday, May 20, 2021, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer revealed Michigan’s new schedule for loosening COVID-19 restrictions. Under the new schedule, Whitmer plans to speed up the “Vacc to Normal” plan by providing deadlines for existing restrictions. This news comes following the recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that allows unvaccinated people to stop wearing masks in certain situations.

The revisions to the re-opening plan are identified below:

Mask Restrictions

Last week the CDC released new guidance on masks, stating that “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

Governor Whitmer followed suit and adjusted Michigan’s mask policy to match the CDC’s recommendation. Now, fully vaccinated people in Michigan no longer need to wear a mask outdoors or indoors unless required by their work or business.

June 1

Governor Whitmer also announced that as of June 1, 2021, there will no longer be restrictions on outdoor gatherings and indoor capacity limits will rise to 50 percent. Any indoor businesses now limited to less than 50 percent, like gyms and entertainment venues, will rise to 50 percent capacity. Conference, wedding and event spaces will also be permitted to increase their capacity to 50 percent starting June 1.

However, Governor Whitmer emphasized that people who are not yet fully vaccinated are still required to continue to wear masks when they are indoors.

July 1

Finally, Governor Whitmer announced that by July 1, nearly all aspects of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service’s Gatherings and Face Mask Order will end. However, businesses have the right to require masks beyond that day. Whitmer emphasized that Michigan will take its final steps in COVID-19 mitigation measures unless “unanticipated circumstances arise.”

Updated MIOSHA Guidance Anticipated

In her address, Governor Whitmer advised that the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) will issue guidance on the re-opening plan on Monday, May 24, 2020.  In addition, on Thursday, May 20, Governor Whitmer announced that MIOSHA will withdraw its proposed permanent COVID-19 rules as part of a bipartisan agreement with the state legislature.

© 2021 Varnum LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 154
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About this Author

Seth W. Ashby, Varnum Law Firm, Grand Rapids, Corporate Planning Attorney, Private Equity Lawyer
Partner

Seth is a partner and member of the firm’s Business and Corporate Services Team. He is experienced in business representation, planning and counseling. He focuses on mergers and acquisitions, as well as private equity, securities, distressed asset and restructuring, and commercial transactions. Seth also advises clients with respect to corporate governance, regulatory and other general corporate matters.

616/336-6726
Ashleigh E. Draft Associate Grand Rapids Labor & Employment
Associate

Ashleigh is an associate attorney currently working with the labor and employment group. She also works with higher education clients and provides support on a variety of litigation matters.

Ashleigh’s experience includes serving as a legal extern for the Michigan Court of Appeals Research Division. She also clerked for Michigan Appeals Court Judge Jane Beckering. Prior to law school, Ashleigh served organizations in the higher education and nonprofit sectors in various development and communications roles. 

616-336-6627
William J. Whalen Labor and Employment Attorney Varnum
Associate

Bill is an associate at Varnum. He is a skilled researcher with experience in the labor and employment area as well as litigation matters. While in law school, Bill worked as an intern at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where he responded to requests to the legal unit, analyzed investigatory files and provided research on employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation matters. He served as a law student intern for U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan.

616-336-6396
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