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Washtenaw County to restrict size of outdoor gatherings, events

group of college students wearing face masks
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The Washtenaw County Health Department has issued an order that limits the size of outdoor gatherings and events. The order applies to gatherings within the cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

Those gatherings are now limited to 25 people, down from 100. The health department says it's issuing this restriction ahead of students returning to area universities.

“Social gatherings without preventative measures can quickly lead to increased local cases of COVID,” says Jimena Loveluck, MSW, health officer for Washtenaw County. “Additional restrictions on the size of outdoor gatherings as well as a strong recommendation to keep records of attendees will help prevent the spread of illness and allow us to respond quickly if cases are identified.”

Indoor gatherings are still limited to 10 or fewer people who are not from the same household, per the governor's order. Face coverings are still required for indoor and crowded outdoor settings. Both the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University require that face masks be worn at all times while on campus.

The order takes effect Thursday at 5 p.m. and will remain in effect until amended or rescinded. According to the release, those found disregarding the new order could be "subject to a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months and/or a fine of up to $200" under Section 2453 of the Public Health Code (MCL 333.2453).

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