After refusing for more than a year to specify what data drove her COVID-19 policies, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer finally announced metrics that she’ll use to relax and eventually remove the state’s current restrictions on public interactions and private gatherings. Last May, for instance, she said, “There’s no textbook specific number that will tell you it is safe to re-engage a particular sector of the economy.” Eventually, though, she found some.
The governor’s “Vacc to Normal” plan calls for reopening and allowing various activities based on the percentage of Michiganders 16 and older who have gotten a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Two weeks after meeting a threshold, certain restrictions will be lifted. At 55 percent, in-person work will no longer be restricted. At 60 percent, capacity limits will be expanded for some businesses, and all indoor capacity limits will be removed at 65 percent. Finally, at 70 percent, the state health department’s epidemic orders, which include the statewide mask mandate, will be rescinded.