Gov. Whitmer suggests more COVID restrictions will be eased in 'coming days'

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday her administration could relax the state's remaining COVID-19 restrictions "in the coming days."

The Democratic governor made the comment during a stop in Grand Rapids, according to WWTV/WWUP-TV 9&10 News.

"It's scheduled for July 1," the governor said of her previous plan for when the next coronavirus policy changes would come. "But I think you should stay tuned."

In this June 10, 2021 photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at Straits State Park in St. Ignace, Mich., with the Mackinac Bridge behind her. Whitmer called for spending a "historic" $250 million in federal coronavirus relief aid to upgrade state parks and trails, a day after Senate Republicans announced a $1.5 billion plan to fix deteriorating local bridges across Michigan.

With the percentage of residents covered by vaccinations increasing, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Michigan has plummeted during the month of June. Last week, the state reported 1,786 new infections, the lowest weekly total in nearly a year.

The changing numbers have increased pressure to more quickly ease the remaining restrictions, as other states have done, including California and New York.

On May 20, Whitmer announced plans to end statewide mandates on July 1 and, for the most part, bring life "back to normal" ahead of the Fourth of July holiday. Michigan has been under different levels of emergency orders on gatherings and businesses for about 15 months. The first COVID-19 cases were reported here on March 10, 2020.

The state's June 1 epidemic order from the Department of Health and Human Services generally limited indoor crowds at businesses and restaurants to 50% of normal capacity constraints and required non-vaccinated individuals to wear masksat indoor gatherings. The order was initially scheduled to expire on July 1.

As of Tuesday, about 61% of Michigan's adult population, age 16 and older, had received at least their initial dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Half of the state's adult population is fully vaccinated.