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

Samantha Gades via Unsplash

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

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

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 25 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 currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
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