Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unveiled a plan called “MI Vacc to Normal” 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 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 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.”
Michigan has made significant progress to slow the spread of COVID-19. 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 hospitalizations has fallen from 3,780 to 3,520.
“We can end this virus on our terms by following the protocols we are putting forward, encouraging everyone in your life to do the same, and ensuring that everyone eligible to receive a vaccine gets one,” said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist. “What we have been observing across our state is that the thing that moves a person to choose to get vaccinated is hearing from someone they know about why it is so important, why they chose to get vaccinated. That means that every person who has not yet chosen to get vaccinated is one conversation away from making that choice. We can make that happen for them and for all of us. The MI Vacc to Normal challenge is a great reminder that we’re all on one team, working toward ending COVID-19.”
Recently, Michigan reached another vaccination milestone in record time — administering more than 6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, with the latest 1 million doses being administered in 11 days. Although progress has been made, it is crucial that Michiganders continue to mask up and socially distance as the state takes steps to get back to normal. It is also crucial for everyone to get their second doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which Michiganders have been doing at a rate of 96.4%, above the national average.
“Our state has made great progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19 since Gov. Whitmer asked for Michiganders to step up on April 9,” said Elizabeth Hertel, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director. “I am proud of the progress that we have made by working together. If residents continue to get their vaccines, wear masks and avoid indoor gatherings, we will soon be able to take further steps to loosen our public health requirements and better be able to enjoy the activities that we all love.”
The MI Vacc to Normal plan will use four vaccination-based milestones — using data for Michiganders 16 years or older who’ve received their first dose — to guide future steps required to get back to normal:
“Having a set plan to get establishments fully reopened is promising. Michigan’s bars and restaurants have long-awaited an indication of the end of the pandemic,” said Scott Ellis, executive director of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association. “The hospitality industry appreciates the public support we’ve received throughout the past year, and we encourage those interested in getting vaccinated to do so as soon as possible to help our struggling businesses get back on their feet.”
If new cases remain greater than 250 daily-per-million as a seven-day average in a Michigan Economic Recovery Committee region at the time of implementing steps 2- 3, the state may delay implementation in that region.