WATCH: Michiganders can return to work, no masks for fully vaccinated

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Monday morning Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer will hold a news conference, to provide an update on MIOSHA return-to-work guidelines, aligning with her first step of the MI Vacc to Normal plan. 

Starting Monday, under the new MIOSHA rules, fully vaccinated employees do not have to wear masks or social distance in the workplace. Those who are non-vaccinated should continue to follow these requirements.  

Other announcement made today include:

  • Cleaning requirements have been updated to reflect changes in CDC recommendations.
  • Employers should continue to have and implement a written COVID-19 preparedness and response plan in accordance with the updated rules.  

“As we work to put Michigan back to work, we are moving quickly to invest in our families, small businesses, and communities to help them succeed,” Governor Whitmer said. “The reason we can take these steps is thanks to every Michigander who has stepped up and taken action to keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe. Together, we are eliminating this once-in-a-century virus, and now we are poised to jumpstart our economy and power it to new highs.” 

“We continue to move toward normalcy as more and more Michiganders get vaccinated,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “The updated CDC guidelines demonstrate just how safe and effective the COVID-19 vaccine truly is and how well it is working.”  

“The COVID-19 vaccine is the most important tool we have to reduce the spread of the virus. The vaccines are safe and effective and vaccinated people can do so many more things safely,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “We have made great progress with our vaccination efforts, but the pandemic is not over. We are working to make sure vaccines are accessible to everyone at their doctor’s office, in their neighborhoods, or even in their homes. By getting vaccinated as soon as possible Michiganders can protect themselves, their families and their communities and help end this pandemic as quickly as possible.”     

According to the plan, starting today all Michigan businesses could allow employees to return to work at the office, a change from when the state required those who could work from home, to do so throughout the pandemic.

Today’s news comes following Whitmer’s news conference on Thursday, where she announced the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) would fully lift its masking and gathering order, by July 1st.

The governor also said as of June 1st, all outdoor capacity restrictions will be lifted, and indoor establishments can start operating at 50% capacity. People who are not considered fully vaccinated will still have to wear a mask indoors.

“As Michiganders have stepped up to get vaccinated and the CDC has released new guidance on masks, we are adapting the MI Vacc to Normal challenge to keep up,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Starting June 1st, we will be moving forward, faster than excepted, towards a return to normalcy. Soon, Michiganders will be able to celebrate together, have summer weddings and even enjoy a 4th of July barbeque with family and friends. This is what we have all been working so hard towards, and I am so grateful to every Michigander who continues to go above and beyond to keep themselves, their family, and our communities safe. Thanks to them, we can take these final steps towards a return to the normalcy and build our economy back stronger than ever.” 

You can watch those remarks in the video below.

Monday’s announcement also comes as the governor came under fire this weekend after a photo was posted of her violating her administration’s own health orders, at a restaurant.

According to The Detroit News, Breitbart was the first media outlet to report the photograph on Sunday through its social media, and an article the outlet published.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued this statement to 6 News:

“Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been committed to following public health protocols. Yesterday, I went with friends to a local restaurant. As more people arrived, the tables were pushed together. Because we were all vaccinated, we didn’t stop to think about it. In retrospect, I should have thought about it. I am human. I made a mistake, and I apologize.”

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