LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer held a news conference Tuesday afternoon, to provide and update on the state fight against COVID-19.
There she and Michigan Department of Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel announced the state’s loosening of restrictions, including upping restaurant capacity to 50%.
All changes by the revised health orders include:
- Restaurants and bars are allowed to be at 50% capacity up to 100 people. Tables must be six feet apart with no more than six people per table. There is now an 11 p.m. curfew.
- Indoor non-residential gatherings where people interact across households are permitted up to 25 people, allowing public meetings and other small indoor gatherings to resume.
- Outdoor non-residential gatherings where people interact across households are permitted up to 300, allowing larger outdoor events to resume.
- Indoor entertainment venues are allowed to be at 50% capacity, up to 300 people.
- Exercise facilities are allowed to be at 30% capacity with restrictions on distancing and mask requirements.
- Retail is allowed to be at 50% capacity.
- Casinos are allowed to be at 30% capacity.
- Indoor stadiums and arenas are allowed have 375 if seating capacity is under 10,000; 750 if seating capacity is over 10,000.
- Outdoor entertainment and recreational facilities may host up to 1,000 patrons.
“As we continue our vaccine rollout and make steady progress against the virus, we are taking additional incremental steps to re-engage to ensure we are protecting our families and frontline workers and saving lives,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Michigan is a national leader in the fight against COVID-19, and our fact-based, data-driven approach will help our state rebuild our economy and resume normal day-to-day activities. As always, mask up, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands. We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of the virus so we can end this pandemic together. One of the most important things Michiganders can do is make a plan to get the safe and effective vaccine when it’s available to you.”
“More than 2 million doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine have been administered and a third vaccine will soon be arriving here in Michigan to help us end the pandemic in our state,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “We continue to monitor the data closely, and based on current trends we are taking another step toward normalcy. We urge Michiganders to continue doing what works and wearing a mask, washing their hands and avoiding crowds.”
Michigan Chief Medical Executive, Doctor Joneigh Khaldun also spoke the rollout of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and how case trends look here in Michigan.
Today’s news conference comes after yesterday, the state reported another 1,569 new COVID-19 cases from Saturday and Sunday combined with 12 total deaths. On Saturday, the state reported 541,248 cases had recovered out of a total 587,581 documented cases in the state since the start of the pandemic.
Drugmaker Merck & Co. will help produce rival Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved coronavirus vaccine in an effort to expand supply more quickly, a Biden administration official confirmed Tuesday.
The announcement comes as the White House looks to speed the production of the single-dose vaccine. Officials have said J&J faced unexpected production issues with its vaccine and produced only 3.9 million doses ahead of its receiving emergency use authorization on Saturday. The company says it is on pace to deliver 100 million doses by the end of June.
The assistance from Merck was expected to help J&J meet its production commitments and expand supply even further, but the administration did not immediately provide specifics.ADVERTISEMENT
President Joe Biden is set to highlight the development in a speech Tuesday afternoon. The official confirmed Merck’s involvement on condition of anonymity ahead of Biden’s public announcement.
The news was first reported by The Washington Post.
<<<The Associated Press contributed to this report.