WATCH: Whitmer celebrates end of COVID-19 restrictions


BELLE ISLE, Mich. (WLNS) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer was in Belle Isle today to celebrate the end of the face masks and gathering orders in the state, something that she said was a long time coming.

“Effective today, our Pure Michigan summer is back and we can realize it,” Whitmer said. “It’s been a grueling 15 months. And today is an exciting, happy, joyful moment.”

In-synch with the governor’s announcement, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as MIOSHA, loosened up their workplace guidelines.

“Certainly a timing component was there but it was to come into alignment with federal OSHA,” said Sean Egan, the Director of COVID Workplace Safety at MIOSHA.

Egan said with the exception of health care settings, things like masks, social distancing and daily health screenings are no longer required at the workplace.

“Because of the great work of the governor and the Biden administration, vaccine rollout increased very, very fast, we’re in a very good spot where it’s readily available and people just need to keep getting that vaccination,” Egan said.

Back across the state at Belle Isle, there was a celebratory tone in many of the voices in attendance.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said in terms of numbers, the important metrics are the best since the start of the pandemic.

“We’ve come so far and I am just so proud and so pleased to be here,” Khaldub said. “The worst of the pandemic is absolutely behind us.”

Governor Whitmer also announced plans to expand her ‘Futures for Frontliners’ program by 22,000 people and called for one time hero payments for those workers.

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