Event organizers welcome relaxed COVID-19 guidelines, ask for patience


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A green space in front of the Van Andel Family Pavilion amphitheater is being prepared to entertain larger crowds under new COVID-19 guidelines.

Face mask requirements will soon be lifted for outdoor gatherings of less than 100 people. The order will take effect May 6 and continue through May 31, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday.

The relax of restrictions is something Ada Township leaders said will make attending outdoor events more convenient.

“We just want to keep everybody safe,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the Parks and Recreation Department in Ada Township. “We also host a lot of outdoor athletic events, and it’s going to make it a little easier for athletes, and some are five-year-olds to seniors.”

In line with the new order, township workers said they will continue abiding by capacity restrictions and prohibit people from gathering or dancing at the front of the amphitheater stage during concerts.

Those are some of the ways they, along with Studio Park in Grand Rapids, said they can limit the spread of infection.

“We’ll still be looking at some safety considerations, like folks will wear masks while they are up and mingling in larger crowds, but we space people apart when they’re seated for events,” said Emily Loeks, director of Community Affairs for Studio C.

Studio Park leaders said orders like the one recently released from the state welcome more events and encourage musicians to perform on the piazza. Those are forms of entertainment workers said are already being planned for the summer.

As the warmest season approaches, organizers said they know most people will want to get outside. They ask for flexibility and patience as restrictions continue to change.

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