(Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images)

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today (June 17) announced that all COVID-19 epidemic orders on gatherings and masking will end on June 22, due to cases falling following increased vaccinations.

Starting June 22, capacity in both indoor and outdoor settings will increase to 100%. Michigan will also no longer require residents to wear a face mask.

“Today is a day that we have all been looking forward to, as we can safely get back to normal day-to-day activities and put this pandemic behind us,” Whitmer said in a statement. “We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the medical experts and health professionals who stood on the front lines to keep us all safe. And we are incredibly thankful to all of the essential workers who kept our state moving.”

She added, “Thanks to the millions of Michiganders who rolled up their sleeves to get the safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine, we have been able to make these changes ahead of schedule. Our top priority going forward is utilizing the federal relief funding in a smart, sustainable way as we put Michigan back to work and jumpstart our economy. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure that Michigan’s families, small businesses, and communities emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever before.”

According to the CDC, almost five million Michiganders ages 16 and older have gotten their first vaccine dose. According to the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, half of Michigan residents are fully vaccinated and more than 60% have gotten their first shots.

Case rates, percent positivity and hospitalizations have all fallen over the past several weeks. Michigan currently has a 1.9% positivity rate.

In addition to the Gatherings and Mask Order, the following orders are also ending June 22:

  • Temporary Restrictions for Entry into Congregate Care and Juvenile Justice Facilities
  • Mandatory Testing for Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Juvenile Justice Facility Staff
  • Mandatory Testing for Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Hospitals and Centers Staff
  • Exceptions to Temporary Restrictions on Entry into Congregate Care and Juvenile Justice Facilities
  • Exceptions to Temporary Restrictions on Entry into Certain Facilities
  • Safe Housing for Housing Unstable Individuals
  • Handling of Bodily Remains
  • Safe Housing for Michigan Homeless​

Some orders will remain to “protect vulnerable populations in corrections, long-term care and agriculture,” according to a statement.

“Public health measures will continue for reporting requirements and COVID testing to make sure areas where community spread is high are identified, kids are safe in school and free COVID-19 tests are available. Guidance for keeping children and staff safe in schools will be released next week,” according to the state.

For more information, go here.

For information on getting vaccinated, head to Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine and VaccineFinder.org.

Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio, and she started shortly after graduating from MSU. She has a passion for rock and metal, plus local music. She also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at erickson@WRIF.com, follow her on Instagram at @EricksonAnne and tweet at her @AnneErickson!