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Gov. Whitmer hints at possibly lifting COVID restrictions before July 1

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Posted at 8:24 AM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 12:39:16-04

(WXYZ) — Michiganders may be able to return to their normal pre-COVID interactions sooner rather than later, as Gov. Whitmer hinted Wednesday that restrictions may be rolled back before July 1 as initially expected.

The state has been moving toward getting at least 70 percent of the population vaccinated before taking a major step in lifting several COVID-19 restrictions, such as required face masks indoors for unvaccinated people and capacity limits at restaurants and bars.

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On Wednesday, during a news conference in Grand Rapids, Gov. Whitmer was asked about the possibility of lifting restrictions prior to July 1. Whitmer responded saying, "I think it's very possible."

She added that although the state still has a goal of getting 70 percent of Michiganders vaccinated before moving forward with this next step in the "MI Vacc to Normal" plan, she says that she's also trying to "meet people where they are."

"Each of these changes requires a lot of preparation and a lot of legal work and so we are assessing," Gov. Whitmer told Albin of WOOD-TV. "We had a modeling call, which we have every Tuesday night, we had that last night (and it showed) the numbers are good, really good,” Whitmer said. “Of course, we wanted to be at 70% (of the population vaccinated) … Our work is still continuing but we’re trying to meet people where they are. That’s not unique to Michigan. It’s happening all across the country. But we’ve got all these factors going into that and I would anticipate, whether it’s MIOSHA or the next step in returning to normal, I would probably have something talk about in the coming days and make some announcements soon.”

Back on May 10, Michigan hit the first milestone of its reopening plan after reaching 55 percent of vaccinated people in the state. Currently, the state is at 60.6 percent vaccinated, according to the COVID-19 vaccine dashboard.

And although the state is short of its 70 percent vaccination goal, COVID numbers have continued to drop over the last several weeks, showing a change in a positive direction toward moving back to some form of normalcy.

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