Michigan reacts to lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions

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In a photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers her virtual State of the State address the state, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 in Lansing, Mich. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) —- Organizations and people from around the state are reacting to Governor Whitmer’s announcement about Michigan returning to full capacity on June 22.

The Michigan Association for Local Public Health released a statement on today’s announcement,

We are excited to see Michigan returning to more normal daily life earlier than originally
planned. This announcement is possible because of recent drops in case numbers in
communities around the state. A lot of hard work and cooperation has brought us this
far. Local health departments have used every resource at their disposal to combat this
virus.”

Today’s announcement is great news, but unfortunately does not mean COVID-19 is
gone, or the broader threat is eliminated entirely. Most Michigan counties are still seeing
cases, and we continue urging everyone to get vaccinated. We still need over 600,000
Michiganders to be vaccinated to reach our 70% goal. Those who cannot be
vaccinated should continue to take appropriate precautions.”

Bryan Reif, PF Michigan Group CEO and Chair of the Michigan Fitness Club Association said the following,

We are excited Governor Whitmer has announced the Michigan Department of Health
and Human services is lifting most of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions around the
state. The fitness industry has been hit hard by 15 months of lockdowns, forced closures and
capacity limits. Beyond the immediate revenue impacts to fitness businesses of all
sizes, the pandemic response measures stigmatized indoor exercise but was never
backed by science or data and ignored the extensive work done by leading fitness
companies around Michigan to create – and document – that properly run gyms are
among the safest indoor business environments anywhere.”

Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, commended Whitmer’s leadership throughout the pandemic,

It’s hard to overstate how crucial Gov. Whitmer’s leadership during the pandemic has been to protect the health of our communities. Her willingness to listen to the experts and enact necessary, fact-based public health guidance in spite of near-constant harassment and even threats on her life helped slow the spread of COVID and save lives. Now, millions of Michiganders are vaccinated and brighter days are on the horizon. Here at Progress Michigan, we’re grateful for Gov. Whitmer’s efforts throughout this crisis and ready to help our state recover from the impact of COVID and come back even stronger than before.”

The Executive Director for the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, Scott Ellis, discussed the realities of the pandemic for the hospitality industry,

This is positive news for the hospitality industry. Michigan bars and restaurants have struggled greatly in order to keep their doors open throughout the pandemic. Owners, employees and patrons are eager to get life back to normal.”

It’s been a long time since many people have been able to enjoy a normal night out on the town with
dinner, dancing and drinks. Bar owners, servers and bartenders are excited to see their old
regulars and fresh new, maskless, faces. The hospitality industry just wasn’t the same without its smile.”

Pino D. Colone, MD, the president of the Michigan State Medical Society spoke on how the lifting of these restrictions is a testament to the vaccine,

State health officials’ decision to lift all remaining COVID-19 capacity requirements and restriction is not only great news for Michigan and it’s residents, but also a testament to the effectiveness of the vaccine. Cases are plummeting and restrictions are being lifted nine days earlier than originally planned for two simple reasons: 1.) The vaccine works, and 2.) People are rolling up their sleeves to get it. “With that said, we owe a great deal of gratitude to all the health professionals who have stood on the frontlines administering shots in an effort to keep us safe, and a sincere ‘thank you’ to the millions of Michigan residents who have acted responsibility and gotten vaccinated.”

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