MDHHS relaxes mask requirements for outdoor gatherings under 100 people

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Protective N-95 face masks lie on a table at an office in Washington, D.C., February 26, 2020. (Eva Hambach / AFP / Getty)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has relaxed mask requirements for outdoor gatherings of under 100 people starting May 6.

In addition, anyone who is fully vaccinated is no longer required to wear a mask at residential gatherings, even indoors.

Organized sports will also no longer require COVID-19 testing for fully vaccinated athletes.

However, masks will still be required for contact sports while on the field, but masks are no longer required for practice and for non-contact sports.

“The commitment by Michiganders to receive the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is allowing us to move toward a return to normal,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel in a press release. “The vaccines work. That means once Michiganders are fully vaccinated, they do not have to abide by as many health guidelines because of the protection the vaccine provides from the spread of the virus. Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer launched the MI Vacc to Normal plan to set vaccine milestones to enable a return toward normalcy. This week we are taking further steps in that direction.”  

Around 40% of Michiganders over 16 are fully vaccinated, with 50.6% receiving at least one dose.

Per the press release,”updates to the Gatherings and Masks Order encourage outdoor events with larger capacities permitted for entertainment and recreational facilities and for sports stadiums and arenas that hold events outdoors. This includes: 

  • Large outdoor events, including festivals, fairs, and golf tournaments will be able to exceed the current 1,000-person limit so long as they create and post a safety plan consistent with the MDHHS Large Outdoor Event Guidance, and no more than 20 persons per 1,000 square feet are gathered in any space available to patrons.  
  • Outdoor stadiums and arenas: 
    • Stadiums complying with enhanced protocols will continue to be allowed to operate at 20% of their fixed seating capacity. For example, a stadium with a maximum capacity complying with enhanced protocols would be permitted to host 8,000 patrons. 
    • Otherwise, for stadiums or arenas with a fixed seating capacity of 5,000 or greater without enhanced protocols 1,000 patrons may be gathered (previously 750). 
    • For stadiums or arenas with a fixed seating capacity of 10,000 or greater without enhanced protocols 1,500 patrons may be gathered. 
  • Residential outdoor gatherings are allowed up to 50 people. Or, where density does not exceed 20 persons per 1,000 square feet of usable outdoor space, up to 300 people may be gathered.  ”  

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