LANSING, MI– Today (Tues, 3/2/21) the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated two of its epidemic orders, allowing for increased capacity limits at various venues, larger residential and nonresidential gatherings and expanded visitation opportunities at residential care facilities.
Changes are designed to balance reopening while controlling the spread of COVID-19 and save Michigandersâ lives. Although progress has been made in reduction of hospitalizations, it is crucial that Michiganders continue to mask up and socially distance as we reopen.
âAs we continue our vaccine rollout and make steady progress against the virus, we are taking additional incremental steps to re-engage to ensure we are protecting our families and frontline workers and saving lives,â said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. âMichigan is a national leader in the fight against COVID-19, and our fact-based, data-driven approach will help our state rebuild our economy and resume normal day-to-day activities. As always, mask up, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands. We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of the virus so we can end this pandemic together. One of the most important things Michiganders can do is make a plan to get the safe and effective vaccine when itâs available to you.â
âMore than 2 million doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine have been administered and a third vaccine will soon be arriving here in Michigan to help us end the pandemic in our state,â said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. âWe continue to monitor the data closely, and based on current trends we are taking another step toward normalcy. We urge Michiganders to continue doing what works and wearing a mask, washing their hands and avoiding crowds.â
MDHHS had been closely monitoring three metrics for stabilization or declines over the past several weeks. As with other states, Michiganâs metrics are mixed. The presence of more infectious variants, such as the B 1.1.7 variant, threatens our progress in control of the epidemic and MDHHS will be monitoring data closely. In recent days:â¯
Hospital capacity dedicated to COVID-19 is now at 3.9%. This metric peaked atâ¯19.6% on Tuesday, Dec.â¯4.â¯
Overall case rates: After declining for six weeks, this metric is plateauing at 91.2â¯cases per million. The rate is similar to what we were at the beginning of October.
Positivity rate:â¯is now at 3.7% having increased slightly from last week (3.5%). This metric is similar to where we were at the beginning of October.
With all residents at skilled nursing homes having been offered their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and a vast majority having had their second dose, the Residential Care Facilities Order goes into effect immediately. The order encourages communal dining and group activities for residents and allows indoor and outdoor visitation in all counties regardless of county risk level. Visitation is allowed as long as the facility has not had a new COVID-19 case in the last 14 days and all indoor visitors ages 13 and older are subject to rapid antigen testing. Testing will help keep residents, staff and families safe while allowing for visitation and an increased quality of life for residents. Adult foster care homes licensed for 12 or fewer residents, hospice facilities, substance use disorder residential facilities and assisted-living facilities are encouraged to implement visitor and staff testing protocols.
Visitors will be required to wear face masks or other personal protective equipment when required by the facility at all times. In general, visitors will need to maintain six feet from residents.