Governor Whitmer Unveils Plan to Get ‘MI Vacc to Normal’
As of today April 29, 2021, Governor Gretchen Whitmer set the state of Michigan on a pathway to return to normal by unveiling the ‘MI Vacc to Normal’ plan as the state continues to push toward its goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders ages 16 years or older. To facilitate this goal, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will base future epidemic order actions on four vaccination-based milestones that, once achieved, will enable Michigan to take a step toward normalcy.
“The MI Vacc to Normal challenge outlines steps we can take to emerge from this pandemic as we hit our vaccination targets together,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “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. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to rise to the challenge and be a part of the solution so we can continue our economic recovery and have the summer we all crave.”
Since Governor Whitmer asked Michiganders to double down on smart public health policies on April 9, Michigan has made significant progress to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. The number of daily cases has dropped from 649.9 cases per million to 439.3 cases per million, the percent of positive tests has declined from  18.3% to 13.2%, and the number of hospitalizations has fallen from 3,780 to 3,520.

Step One: two weeks after 4.5 million Michiganders, or 55% of those eligible, have received their first shot, MDHHS will lift the requirement for employers to require remote work when feasible.
Step Two: two weeks after 4.9 million Michiganders, or 60% of those eligible, have received their first shot MDHHS will:
  • Increase indoor capacity at sports stadiums, conference centers, banquet halls, and funeral homes to 25%.
  • Increase capacity limits at exercise facilities and gyms to 50%.
  • Lift the curfew on bars and restaurants.

Step Three: two weeks after 5.3 million Michiganders, or 65% of those eligible, have received their first shot MDHHS will:
  • Lift all indoor capacity limits, only requiring social distancing between parties.
  • Relax the limits on residential social gatherings.

Step Four: two weeks after 5.67 million Michiganders, or 70% of those eligible, have received their first shot MDHHS will:
  • Lift the gatherings and face masks order and no longer impose mitigation measures of that kind unless the virus threatens to overwhelm the medical system or some other unanticipated circumstance arises.
After this morning’s announcement, the Alliance expressed optimism and stressed the need for community involvement in meeting the plan’s benchmarks. “We are cautiously optimistic that we now have metrics and a path to a full reopening. Our businesses are already serving as trusted leaders within our communities in encouraging employees and residents to be safe and will continue to do so,” said Stacie Bytwork, the chairperson of the Alliance and president and CEO of the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce.

“It needs to be recognized that vaccination rates are not within the control of businesses alone - this is really a community-wide and statewide problem to solve.

The Alliance exists to advocate for rural northern Michigan and move forward rural-centric business policy.

Stacie Bytwork, Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance Chairperson
President & CEO of the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce

Sarah Hagen, Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance Vice-Chair
President & CEO of the Charlevoix Area Chamber of Commerce

Kirstie Sieloff, Director of Government Relations
Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance & Traverse Connect

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