Gov. Whitmer Marks The End of COVID-19 Epidemic Orders
Fifteen months since the first executive orders restricted business and movement in the state, a majority of the state’s coronavirus restrictions have been lifted.
Except for a few exemptions in high risk communities, there are no more restrictions on capacity or mask mandates in Michigan, regardless of vaccination status.
“Effective today our Pure Michigan summer is back and we can realize it,” Gov. Whitmer said.
It was an upbeat atmosphere at a press conference on Belle Isle in Detroit. Whitmer has held nearly 100 of these COVID-19 related pressers in the past 15 months, but this was the first without any restrictions. Pictures and hugs were common after months of distancing.
“Effective today, there is no more mask or gathering order,” said Whitmer, “Effective today, there are no more capacity limits indoors or outdoors.”
During the hour-long event, speakers spoke of the sacrifices Michiganders made to get to this point.
“We are here to salute how resilient the people of Michigan are, said Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, “And how resilient we’ve been for the last year and a half.”
Over the pandemic, Whitmer saw her executive orders stripped by the Michigan State Supreme Court as she shifted to epidemic orders out of the health department.
Right now in Lansing, a push is being made to take that ability away too, from Whitmer and any future governor.
“Every governor before me had these abilities to take action if needed and every one after me should as well,” said Whitmer, “Because the people of Michigan need their chief executive to act when their lives are on the line.”
While she still has the power, there’s a chance another outbreak could bring a return of restrictions but the state’s vaccine push may spare any sort of lockdowns.
“I’m pleased with our vaccination number,” said Whitmer, “Certainly I would like to see us get to 70% as quickly as possible, but at this point these vaccines are still the best tool that we have to stay safe. That’s why we got to encourage people to get vaccinated but we also want to make sure people get their questions answered.”