Michigan lifts outdoor mask requirement for crowds under 100

Michigan late Tuesday lifted an outdoor mask requirement except in gatherings of at least 100 people and in organized contact sports, and said teen athletes no longer must undergo regular COVID-19 testing if they are fully vaccinated.

Under a revised pandemic order that takes effect Thursday, the state health department also eased outdoor event sizes and said vaccinated people are not required to be masked at indoor residential gatherings.

“The commitment by Michiganders to receive the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is allowing us to move toward a return to normal,” Elizabeth Hertel, director of the state Department of Heath and Human Service, said in a statement. “The vaccines work. That means once Michiganders are fully vaccinated, they do not have to abide by as many health guidelines because of the protection the vaccine provides from the spread of the virus.”

The state’s rules are looser than guidance issued last week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said unvaccinated people should wear masks at small outdoor gatherings that include other unvaccinated people. The state urged people to still follow CDC guidance and wear face coverings whenever they are around unvaccinated people not from their household.

More than half of Michigan residents ages 16 and older have gotten at least one shot.  (AP)

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