News Story

Will Michigan Ever Reopen? No Guarantee Of Reaching Whitmer's Required Vaccine Threshold

Neighbor state officials also tie reopening to matters outside their control

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer judges it won’t be safe to lift coronavirus restrictions in Michigan until 70% of residents age 16 and older have been vaccinated.

A survey of neighboring states indicates there is no consensus on what criteria should inform leaders’ judgments about when the rewards of fully reopening society will outweigh the costs.

The government of Illinois will let its people live without COVID restrictions when there are no surges in deaths and cases for 28 days, and 50% of the population 16 and older receives at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The state is currently in phase 4 of a 5-phase plan to fully reopen without restrictions.

Ohio officials have determined they will lift restrictions only when the rate of confirmed daily new COVID cases falls below 50 people per 100,000. As of April 1, the figure was 200.0 per 100,000 for the two week period of March 31 to April 13.

In a ruling, the Wisconsin Supreme Court effectively ended that state’s mask mandate. It also ruled that the governor overstepped his authority by excluding legislators when crafting official pandemic response policies. There are some communities that have enacted face masks mandates of their own.

In Michigan, 28.8% of the population age 16 and older had have been fully vaccinated as of April 15. The vaccination rate has gone up by 3 to 4 percentage points each week. If that rate should slow and the state never reaches 70%, it is not clear what the governor will decide.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel said April 16 that the state is working toward that 70% goal.

“Over 3.5 million Michiganders have received at least their first dose of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as we work to reach our goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders age 16 and older,” Hertel said in a press release.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.