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Michigan lifts indoor capacity limits, mask requirements

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Michigan will lift all indoor capacity restrictions and mask requirements next week, 10 days sooner than planned amid vaccinations and plummeting COVID-19 infections.

The state's main coronavirus order will expire at the end of Monday instead of on July 1, ending 50% occupancy limits inside restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues and at indoor events like weddings and funerals.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made the announcement Thursday. She says it is a day everyone has been looking forward to and a debt of gratitude is owed to medical experts and health professionals who kept people safe.

“Today 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 in statement issued 15 months after she first signed emergency orders to control the coronavirus. “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.”

The move came days after California and New York lifted most of their remaining restrictions, joining other states in opening the way, step by step, for what could be a close-to-normal summer.

About 4.9 million Michigan residents, or 60%, of those ages 16 and older have gotten at least one vaccine dose. Case rates, positivity rates, and hospitalizations have all plummeted in recent weeks.