Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said Thursday she will ease coronavirus restrictions on the state when enough residents submit to receiving a vaccine.
Whitmer tied personal freedom to vaccine benchmarks as she was given her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
“On our path to vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders 16 and up, we can take steps to gradually get back to normal while keeping people safe,” Whitmer said, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Michigan State Rep. Ben Frederick (R-Owosso) broke down the benchmarks:
- 55% of Michiganders – In-person work will be allowed for all sectors of business.
- 60% of Michiganders – Indoor capacity at sports stadiums, conference centers, banquet halls, and funeral homes will increase to 25%; capacity at exercise facilities and gyms will increase to 50%; and the curfew on restaurants and bars will be lifted.
- 65% of Michiganders – All indoor capacity limit percentages will be lifted, requiring only social distancing between parties. Limits on residential social gatherings will be further relaxed.
- 70% of Michiganders – Gathering and face mask orders will be lifted, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will no longer employ broad mitigation measures unless unanticipated circumstances arise, such as the spread of vaccine-resistant variants.
Whitmer said it is a “very real possibility” that she and President Joe Biden will authorize citizens to celebrate the July Fourth holiday without restrictions.
Frederick praised Whitmer’s action, stating, “This announcement is long overdue,” Frederick said.
“Having specific benchmarks we can work toward together is going to bring the hope and certainty that has been missing from our lives since this pandemic began.”
He said Whitmer’s benchmarks — which effectively shift the burden to residents to regain their freedom — will “allow families, communities and our small business owners to track the progress our state is making, plan ahead and look to the future.”
According to WXYZ, “There are concerns over people not showing up for their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.”
One clinic told the news station that “about 40% of their appointments are being canceled or rescheduled, and up to 20% are no-shows.”
Frederick said the state is less than 49 percent vaccinated.
“While this plan certainly isn’t perfect, it’s a tremendous step in the right direction to bring transparency” to the state’s coronavirus response, he said.