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Michigan officially lifts all COVID restrictions, but the pandemic isn't over

No indoor or outdoor capacity limits
Posted at 5:54 AM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 05:54:21-04

Tuesday is a new day on the pandemic front. The majority of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions are now lifted.

That means there are no indoor or outdoor capacity limits, and the general mask mandate has expired, regardless of vaccination status.

Case numbers continue to trend lower, and over the last three days, Michigan reported 327 new cases, an average of just over 100 per day.

Related: COVID restrictions lift Tuesday: Businesses navigate reopening
Related: Some COVID-19 orders will remain in effect in Michigan despite plan to lift all restrictions June 22
Related: These are all the Michigan COVID-19 orders that are ending on June 22

The only restrictions that remain in place are in long-term care facilities, school sand correctional facilities.

"We could have waited a bit longer," said Dr. Teena Chopra, a professor of infectious diseases at Wayne State University. "I think that getting 70 percent of the population vaccinated and then dropping would've helped but there is no cutoff

There really is no magic number, but as people resume a normal way of living, vaccination rates continue to play a key role, she said.

Some service businesses can't return to 100% normal

Experts say the Delta variant is completely replacing the original strain, and we're going to see the same thing in the U.S. Chopra said we will see outbreaks in the unvaccinated population.

"As long as we keep aiming and striving for getting more people vaccinated, I think we are heading in the right direction. We are definitely at the lowest number of cases for the entire time that we've had COVID," she said. "Hopefully, by September we will have vaccines for the younger age groups as well."

It's important that businesses follow their own health and safety protocols, Chopra said. For example, people who are unvaccinated could still be required to wear masks.

While the restrictions are generally over, COVID-19 isn't. The state has more than 61% of people with at least one dose of a vaccine, but Detroit is only at 36%.

"The fact that all the vaccinated individuals can go and work and do things that they have enjoyed doing is a testament to science, and I think we should keep up that work," Chopra said. "If at all, I think it should inspire people, more people to get vaccinated."

The travel ban at the border remains in effect for non-essential travel until July 21, but Canada is set to lift some of its travel restrictions for Canadian citizens.