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State reviewing mask mandate after CDC eases guidance on Thursday

Posted at 6:30 AM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 06:30:10-04

Mask guidance in Michigan is now under review by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services after the CDC said those who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks.

That goes for both indoor and outdoor locations regardless of crowd size. The CDC also said people who are fully vaccinated do not need to practice social distancing.

Michigan is one of 25 states that still have a mask mandate.

Related: CDC says fully vaccinated Americans can go without face masks in most settings

The state has a goal of 70% vaccinated before the governor lifts the mask mandate and all other restrictions in the MI Vacc to Normal Plan. We're currently at just over 55%, meaning more than a million Michiganders still need at least one dose.

"You know there is a good chance that we might not get there, the numbers are slowing down a lot," said Dr. Matthew Sims, the director of infectious disease research at Beaumont Hospital in the Detroit area.

Sims said there's still a lot of hesitancy out there. That hesitancy could be met with an incentive from the CDC.

The new guidelines allow states to drop the mask mandates for fully vaccinated people.

If Michigan can average 100,000 first doses per week moving forward, it would take 3-1/2 months for all measures to be lifted, including masks, which would be sometime in September.

"COVID is probably never going away fully, but the vaccine should be able to bring us to where it's more like the flu," Sims said.

Once we reach that 70%, an establishment verifying who's fully vaccinated is another issue, as Michigan Republican lawmakers are pushing to ban any vaccine passport.