Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has introduced a state reopening plan that will consist of lowering restrictions owing to an increasing number of vaccinations. At present, nearly half of the population aged 16 and above have taken the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine and almost 36% of all residents are fully vaccinated.
The aim is to reach a point where 70% of the population is fully vaccinated, said the governor. The likelihood of Michigan reaching the target is high, considering nearly 55% of residents will receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by the next week. Two weeks after this mark is achieved, the state will be opened for businesses and other activities.
Moreover, two weeks after 60% of residents have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, sports arenas and banquets can expand their capacity to 25%, gyms can increase their opening to 50% and the stringent 11 p.m. curfew for indoor dining can be removed.
When the state crosses the 65% mark, indoor restrictions would be removed after waiting another 14 days. Just as the state crosses the 70% vaccination mark, the state government will wait for two weeks and then remove the mandatory mask requirements.
In a press conference this Thursday, Whitmer informed the general public about the importance of the vaccines and how it still is “the most effective way to protect you and your family.” She also highlighted how Michigan is out of hot waters, but it still needs to be careful in order to get to the end of the road.
Despite the rapid surge of COVID-19 cases in the state, Whitmer remains fairly optimistic about battling the spread with the vaccination campaign. In fact, she has said that Michigan residents could have a normal life by July 4, a goal suggested by President Biden himself.
A really innovative, smart strategy by @GovWhitmer to tie loosening of public health restrictions to vaccination rates in Michigan
Because metrics like infection #s fluctuate
But immunity through vaccinations is more durable
And lets hope this motivates folks to get the shot pic.twitter.com/6om3qN2mop
— Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH (@ashishkjha) April 29, 2021
As far as Whitmer’s current decision is concerned, many state officials and health experts have expressed their support on her plan. Dr. Aashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown School of Public Health, thought that the idea to “tie loosening of public health restrictions to vaccination rates in Michigan” is a smart approach to the situation. He took to Twitter to acknowledge the well-thought initiative and expressed hope for the people of Michigan to get vaccinated.
At present, COVID cases in the state have decreased significantly over the past two weeks. Whitmer acknowledged this achievement and declared that even though the decrease is not exactly what they want it to be, the government of Michigan is still “headed in the right direction.”