In a press conference on Thursday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that, beginning June 1, all outdoor capacity limits will be lifted and indoor gatherings will be allowed at 50 percent capacity through the month of June. The state will maintain mask rules as already announced last week, which means no masks will be required outdoors, but people not fully vaccinated will still be required to mask while indoors as long as the epidemic order remains in effect. However, all other mitigation measures will be lifted. Further, the Governor announced that on July 1, the state will lift the broad gathering and face mask order entirely, marking the last step in reopening the state.
In making the announcement, the Governor acknowledged that this marks a change in direction from the Vacc to Normal plan that the state announced just two weeks ago and that this new direction replaces that plan entirely. She noted that recent changes in guidance from the CDC were driving Michigan's accelerated reopening.
The Governor noted that, even after July 1, some targeted orders may be used to protect vulnerable populations. She also said that the state would continue to track new developments and may need to respond with restrictions in the future if things like vaccine resistant disease variants lead to increased case numbers.
The actual epidemic order will not be released until Monday, when it will officially be signed by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel. As such, we do not yet have specifics on exactly what this means for schools. MASSP is told that the state is likely to take its lead on school-specific guidance from the CDC moving forward. We are also told that the CDC is expected to issue guidance for next school year in the several weeks, but no other details are available right now. What we do know for certain is that districts will have a week after the order is signed and released to adjust their plans for school gatherings – like commencement – that occur on or after June 1.
MASSP will continue to keep members updated as new information becomes available.