Carrot and Stick: Whitmer Plan to Reopen State Tied to Vaccine
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced her latest plan in dealing with the Covid pandemic. The plan ties the number of vaccination to loosening current restrictions, some of which have been in place since early last year.
Whitmer's plan, labeled ""MI Vacc to Normal" was announced Thursday morning. The State offers to begin easing restrictions once 4.5 million Michigan residents receive their first dose of Covid vaccine. a 55% threshold of the state's adult population) In a best case scenario, this could be accomplished in about two weeks, and subsequently restriction would begin to be loosened towards the end of May. Along with that, the state's remote work mandate could be eased where it's safe and practical.
“The MI Vacc to Normal challenge outlines steps we can take to emerge from this pandemic as we hit our vaccination targets together. On our path to vaccinating 70% of Michiganders 16 and up, we can take steps to gradually get back to normal while keeping people safe. - Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer at her press -conference Thursday morning.
The second threshold would occur after 60% of the Michigan population gets their first shot. This would allow increased indoor limits on stadiums, gyms, banquet centers and funeral homes and lift the current 11 p.m. curfew on bars and restaurants.
The third threshold is 65% of the adult population, or when 5.3 million residents get their first dose. Then the sate will lift all indoor capacity rules. Restaurants are currently limited to 50% capacity.
The final threshold is 70% of the adult population, gets their first dose. Then the state end bans of gathers and face mask orders.
Current figures show about 49% of Michiganders are completely vaccinated, while some 36% have received at least one shot.
Also, infection rates are down from the peak of the current variant spike, but are still three times higher than late last year.