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Outdoor, residential gathering limits lift; one month left of mask rule

Remember parties? And joy? Those were nice! If you're outdoors, knock yourselves out now, the state says.
Samantha Gades
Remember parties? And joy? Those were nice! If you're outdoors, knock yourselves out now, the state says.

All COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor or residential gatherings will be lifted as of Tuesday, June 1st. Restaurants will be allowed to be up to 50% full.

But for the next month, people who haven’t been fully vaccinated are still being asked to wear masks indoors: the state says it intends to lift “all broad epidemic orders” on July 1st.

So until then, businesses are being asked to make “good faith efforts” to ensure unmasked customers really are vaccinated if they’re indoors. And business owners still have the ability to ask customers, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks - although many major chains like Meijer have already dropped mask requirements for vaccinated customers.

Dr. Christine Nefcy, the Chief Medical Officer at Munson Health, says it makes some people nervous to be on this "honor system."

"So if you are not fully immunized or not immunized at all, please, [we] ask you to do the right thing. And that would be to continue to wear a mask indoors,” she said at a May 25th press conference.

Hospitals and healthcare facilities will likely continue to keep asking for masks, too. So Nefcy says, even if you are vaccinated, don’t toss your mask just yet.

“Whereas we had masks available at a lot of places previously, that might not be the case going forward. So just you know, tuck a mask in an envelope or in a bag and keep it, keep it on your person or in your car.”

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist and co-host of the Michigan Radio and NPR podcast Believed. The series was widely ranked among the best of the year, drawing millions of downloads and numerous awards. She and co-host Lindsey Smith received the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists. Judges described their work as "a haunting and multifaceted account of U.S.A. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s belated arrest and an intimate look at how an army of women – a detective, a prosecutor and survivors – brought down the serial sex offender."