Ad Spot

Gov. Whitmer announces state will open to full capacity on June 22

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Thursday accelerated the end of all COVID-19 epidemic orders on gatherings and masking as COVID-19 cases continue to plummet following increased vaccinations. Beginning June 22, capacity in both indoor and outdoor settings will increase to 100 percent and the state will no longer require residents to wear a face mask.

“Today [Thursday] is a day that we have all been looking forward to, as we can safely get back to normal day-to-day activities and put this pandemic behind us,” Whitmer said. “We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the medical experts and health professionals who stood on the front lines to keep us all safe, and we are incredibly thankful to all of the essential workers who kept our state moving. Thanks to the millions of Michiganders who rolled up their sleeves to get the safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine, we have been able to make these changes ahead of schedule. Our top priority going forward is utilizing the federal relief funding in a smart, sustainable way as we put Michigan back to work and jumpstart our economy. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure that Michigan’s families, small businesses, and communities emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever before.”

Nearly five million Michiganders ages 16 and older have received their first vaccine dose, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. According to data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, half of Michigan residents have completed their vaccination and over 60 percent have gotten their first shots.

“This is great news and a day all of us have been looking forward to for more than a year,” said Elizabeth Hertel, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director. “We have said all along that the vaccine would help us return to a sense of normalcy and today we announce that day is here.”

Case rates, percent positivity and hospitalizations have all plummeted over the past several weeks. Currently, Michigan is experiencing 24.3 cases per million and has recorded a 1.9 percent positivity rate over the previous seven days.

“This is a great day, however, there is more work to be done,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “We can’t let our guard down as there continue to be several variants of the COVID-19 virus circulating in our state, including the concerning Delta variant. The COVID-19 vaccine is the most important tool we have to reduce the spread of the virus and I urge everyone ages 12 and up who has not yet received their vaccine to get it as soon as possible. Talk to your health care provider, your local health department or your neighborhood pharmacist about joining the millions of Michiganders who have received their vaccine.”

 

In addition to the Gatherings and Mask Order, additional orders are being rescinded as of June 22. These include:

Additionally, some orders will remain in effect to protect vulnerable populations in corrections, long-term care and agriculture. Public health measures will continue for reporting requirements and COVID testing to make sure areas where community spread is high are identified, kids are safe in school and free COVID-19 tests are available. Guidance for keeping children and staff safe in schools will be released next week.

MDHHS will continue to provide recommendations to keep Michiganders safe and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in higher risk settings and places where vulnerable populations or populations with large numbers of individuals are not yet fully vaccinated.

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and where to find the nearest vaccination site, visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine and VaccineFinder.org.

Berrien County

Spectrum Health Lakeland Foundation awards $75,000 in scholarships, grants

Giving

Niles church nearing fundraising goal for new community playground

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 906,538 cases, 19,947 deaths

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Dowagiac’s Stockwell named champion swine showman at Cass County Fair

Berrien County

Registration now open for Lory’s Place Run, Walk, and Rock

Berrien County

BCF Arts Challenge seeking support for Berrien County arts venues

Berrien County

Community members encouraged to donate blood, save lives

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: July 28-Aug. 2

News

Niles Township reconsiders document scanning project, rescinds special meeting vote

Giving

Niles church to host Family Fun Fest Saturday

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Niles’ Tharp wins Cass County Youth Dairy Show

Cass County

Dowagiac man gets jail time for assaulting brother-in-law

Cass County

Cassopolis teen wins sheep showman overall, grand overall market

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Cass County Fair names royal court

News

Niles man sentenced to counseling, time served following drunk driving incident

News

Niles man sentenced to prison for fleeing police

Dowagiac

Students help design SMC esports arena

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Cass County Fair kicks off with opening ceremonies, parade

Business

Event organizers, local dispensaries call inaugural Niles Cannabis Festival a success

Breaking News

Buchanan native Hannah Roberts takes silver in Olympics

News

PHOTO STORY: Inaugural Niles Cannabis Festival sells nearly 800 tickets

Cass County

Cass County Fair grand marshals are longtime advocates of the fair

Cass County

Fair organizers excited for fair after 2020 cancellation

Cass County

Fair guests in for a treat with main grounds entertainment