The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated its Gatherings and Mask epidemic order, allowing up to 20% capacity in outdoor stadiums and arenas that establish infection control plans. The update also increases testing for youth ages 13-19 to ensure athletes can safely participate in sports. The changes are designed to balance day-to-day activities while controlling the spread of COVID-19 and saving Michiganders' lives. Although progress has been made, it is crucial that Michiganders continue to mask up and socially distance as we take steps to get back to normal. The changes to the Order go into effect Monday, March 22, and remain in effect through Monday, April 19.
Gatherings at outdoor stadiums and arenas are increased to 20% of the venue's capacity if the site:
- Establishes an infection control plan that complies with the protocols included in MDHHS's document entitled Enhanced Outdoor Stadium and Arena Guidance.
- Posts the mitigation plan publicly.
- Sends infection control plans to the local health department and MDHHS at least seven days before scheduled events.
- Administers a testing program as specified in MDHHS's Guidance for Athletics for all players.
MDHHS had been closely monitoring three metrics for stabilization or declines over the past several weeks. Michigan's metrics have been increasing for the past few weeks. 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:
- Positivity rate: has increased for four weeks to 6.2%. This metric is up 177% from the mid-February low but remains below the December high of 19.4%.
- Statewide case rate: This metric has increase over the past four weeks to 172.9 cases per million. The rate is up 77% from the low in mid-February but remains below peak of 737.8 cases per million on Saturday, Nov 14.
- Hospital capacity dedicated to COVID-19 is now at 4.9%. This metric peaked at 19.6% on Tuesday, Dec. 4 and is now up 25% from an end of February low.
The Order also increases weekly testing for youth athletes ages 13-19 to safely participate in sports. More information on the program is available on the Michigan.gov/Coronavirus website.
To ensure consistency with recently issued CDC guidance, fully vaccinated individuals may now participate in residential gatherings with other fully vaccinated individuals without wearing a mask.
Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.