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Masks are no longer required at outdoor weddings, graduation parties or similar events or while playing youth sports, according to a new Department of Health order set to take effect Thursday.

The move is the latest in a series of measures from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Gretchen Whitmer government as the state’s COVID-19 outlook remains poor. But it still continues in a safer direction.

“Michigan Spiegel’s commitment to a safe and effective vaccine against the COVID-19 has helped us to get back to normal,” said Elizabeth Hurtel, director of the department.

“The vaccine works, which means that once Michiganders are fully vaccinated, they don’t need to follow as many health guidelines as the vaccine protects against the spread of the virus.

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Under the new directive, no one must wear a mask outside the home unless a gathering of 100 or more people – including youth sports – is still required – while masks for contact sports are still required. But they are not required during training or gaming for contactless outdoor sports.

“For example, softball and baseball players have to wear a mask during the thunder. But not when at bat or playing first base, ”read a press release from the Department of Health.

Young athletes must still be tested unless the student is fully vaccinated and has no symptoms. Anyone who is fully vaccinated and does not feel sick do not need to wear a mask in their home or outside home.

“Getting vaccinated is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community,” said state chief medical officer Dr. Jonie Caldon.

“Vaccines give you the freedom and comfort to do more. But we still have work to do to meet our goal of vaccination for at least 70% of residents aged 16 and over. ”

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Despite declining incidence of hospitalizations and mortality in recent weeks, Michigan is still the worst in the country among all three metrics. Earlier, Whitmer urged villagers to stop eating in the homes at restaurants, and to halt youth athletics and school classes for two weeks to halt the coronavirus outbreak. 19 in the present

But Hertel and Whitmer are opposed to creating tougher regulations, despite calls from the country’s health leaders to do so.

The new order is part of a broader state effort linking vaccination rates to easing epidemic regulations.

Last week, Whitmer announced a plan to freeze restrictions when a handful of Michiganders received their first dose of the vaccine. On Tuesday, the state had an estimated 374,000 shots that did not meet the first benchmark, with 55% of those 16 and older receiving the first dose.

Only 39% of Michiganders aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated, according to state data.

Contact Dave Boucher: dboucher@freepress.com or 313-938-4591 Follow him on Twitter @ Dave_Boucher1.

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