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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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'I don't think it's too early.' Local doc said Michigan is ready for reopening

Posted at 7:05 AM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 07:05:37-04

(WSYM) — Michigan is on the fast track to reopening. Mask mandates and capacity limits are being lifted, but the timing doesn't fit with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's original "Vacc to Normal" plan.

Is it too soon? One doctor said that if we don't start to ease up the mandates, people are going to start to ease up on their own.

Related: Michigan lifting all outdoor capacity limits, increasing indoor capacity to 50% on June 1

Whitmer said masks will no longer be required indoors or outdoors come July 1, and that's when the face masks and gatherings order will be lifted, and there will be no capacity restrictions.

"I don't think it's too early to do this. I think we've reached a pivotal tipping point to reach the number of people who are vaccinated. So I think this is something that has to happen and that it's the right timeframe for it," Dr. Phillip Levy with Wayne Health said.

The governor's original plan had called for a phased-in approach to reopening. As we hit benchmarks of 55%, 60%, 65% and then 70% of people being vaccinated, restrictions would be gradually lifted until a full reopening.

We've only hit the first benchmark so far.

Levy said the problem with the current approach is the honor system being used when it comes to allowing people to go maskless.

"What this is going to potentially create is a situation where you have unvaccinated people running around without masks and spreading the virus," he said.

But, if you are vaccinated and want to wear a mask, you can feel free to do so.

Dr. Anthony Fauci insists the nation needs to stay on track with vaccinations to reach President Joe Biden's goal of 70% of adults with at least one dose by July 4.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

Find out how you can help businesses and restaurants struggling during the pandemic.

Also, get information about Rebound Mid Michigan, with stories, information, and more about coming back from COVID-19

Join the Rebound Mid Michigan Facebook Group.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.