Michigan State Health Department loosens masking recommendations for indoor public settings

Indoor dining COVID-19
Posted at 6:38 AM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 06:38:59-05

(WXYZ) — As Michigan continues to recover from the latest COVID-19 surge, state health departments are beginning to ease mask recommendations for indoor public settings.

The new guidance now allows individual businesses and schools to decide whether or not their establishment requires masks.

According to the state, no immediate resurgence of the virus is predicted so they're calling this phase of the pandemic “recovery.”

Businesses like Motor City Casino have already decided to ditch the mask, but other local business owners say they’re not loosening their own rules as quick.

"It does seem a little soon, yea" employee at City Bird Marissa Johnson said.

Johnson says she plans to keep her mask on while working inside City Bird.

"It would be nice to just like rip it off and be done with it, but I think it's good to still be like a little bit cautious.”

COVID cases around the country are down 40 percent. Covid-related deaths, also declining.

RELATED: Michigan reports 4,271 new cases of COVID-19 over 2-day period

Dr. Teena Chopra, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Wayne State says these relaxed rules mean individuals need to be flexible and more aware of their own risks.

“People who are at higher risk [...] if they’re going to be in settings where it’s going to be crowded settings, they should continue masking,” she said.

The state says regardless of vaccination status, universal masking should continue in long-term care facilities, jails, and homeless shelters.