MSU lifts outdoor mask mandate

Amelia Benavides-Colón
The Detroit News
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Detroit — Michigan State University on Monday lifted its outdoor mask requirement after changes by the CDC and state health department.

As of Monday, masks no longer are required in outdoor settings on campus or MSU-affiliated properties for individuals or small groups, except for gatherings of 100 people or more, MSU President Samuel Stanley said in a release online.

Anyone who is fully vaccinated and not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms is not required to wear a mask at residential gatherings, including those that are indoors. 

Face coverings remain required indoors.

Meanwhile, "the city of East Lansing has informed the university it will potentially be changing its face covering policy as well," MSU said in its statement Monday. "The East Lansing City Council is set to consider a policy resolution Tuesday that, if approved, would eliminate the requirement to wear masks in downtown outdoor public spaces, beginning Wednesday, May 12."

The move comes as Michigan hit its first benchmark for lifting COVID-19 restrictions. The state had 4.45 million residents with at least one dose of the vaccine, reaching just above 55% of the population ages 16 and up, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's "Vacc to Normal" plan released April 29 outlined four steps that need to be taken in order for restrictions to be lifted.

Step one of the plan requires 55% of the adult population to have received their first dose of the vaccine in order for in-person work to resume.

"We're able to take this step forward thanks to every Michigander who has gotten their shot," Whitmer said Monday in a video posted on Twitter

The next phase of the plan details the return to in-person work for businesses, which is expected to happen May 24. 

Two weeks after 60% of the adult population has received their first dose, the 11 p.m. curfew on restaurants and bars will be lifted as well as restrictions on sports stadiums, gyms and conference centers, according to Whitmer's plan.

As of Monday, Michigan had 865,349 cases of COVID-19 and 18,239 deaths, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

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