Could relaxing COVID-19 restrictions cause more outbreaks?

Coronavirus

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is poised to accelerate the loosening of some of the state’s coronavirus restrictions as metrics improve and the state moves closer to normal.  

The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surprised health care professionals and governors last week with her recommendation that fully vaccinated citizens can take off their masks in nearly all situations. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wasted little time and implemented the new mask policy in Michigan Friday.

Now comes word that she is itching to lift even more restrictions on businesses and individuals.

“We feel confident our state can begin taking even greater steps to get back to normal,” her office revealed Wednesday.

Many would be shocked if the governor followed the lead of the Ohio governor, who is set to remove all restrictions June 2. Ohio’s full vaccination rate is lower than Michigan’s.

The governor did not consult with local health officials on accelerating these rollbacks.

“I probably would have said, if you can, slow it down,” Ingham County Health Director Linda Vail said.

All business offices are already set to reopen in five days. A new order could include more spectators at sporting events and high school in-person graduations ceremonies could be impacted.

But is the governor taking a risk that by eliminating more restrictions now? Could that lead to more cases in the coming weeks?

“I think its a low probability that something significant is going to happen,” Vail said. “We’ll deal with some outbreaks and some cases, but in terms of a massive surge in cases, I don’t think there is a high probability.”

It’s possible the governor will be thinking that when she pulls the trigger on lifting more restrictions sooner than later. 

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