Capacity Limits on Gatherings Remain Unchanged as Michigan Drops Most Mask Requirements for “Fully Vaccinated” Individuals

In response to updated guidance released on May 13, 2021 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services has issued an updated Gatherings and Face Mask Order. Fully vaccinated persons need not wear a mask in most settings, regardless of whether indoors or outdoors. CDC indicated that fully vaccinated persons are at low risk of experiencing symptomatic or severe COVID-19 infection and pose a reduced risk of transmitting COVID-19 to others. Additionally, recent scientific studies confirm that transmission of COVID-19 outdoors is exceedingly rare.

Updated face mask requirements.

The updated Gatherings and Face Mask Order provides that fully vaccinated persons will no longer be required to wear a mask at indoor or outdoor gatherings. A “fully vaccinated person” is someone for whom at least two weeks has passed after receiving the final dose of an FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccine. For persons who are not fully vaccinated, the new order does not change the existing indoor face mask requirements to which we had all become accustomed. However, the updated order drops the _ outdoor _ face mask requirements for all persons whether fully vaccinated or not.

Capacity limits on gatherings remain unchanged.

As a welcome sign of normalcy returning to the State, the suspension of the face mask requirements for the fully vaccinated has received significant coverage in the local media. However, coverage of the unchanged capacity limits on gatherings is sparse. Community Associations should be aware that the current capacity limits for gatherings that were set on May 6, 2021 remain unchanged and are set forth below.

Indoor Gatherings: For residential venues, the limit for indoor gatherings remains 15 persons, from not more than 3 households. For non-residential venues, the limit remains 25 persons per gathering, irrespective of the number of households involved.

Outdoor Gatherings: For residential venues, outdoor gatherings are generally limited to 50 persons, without regard to the number of households involved. However, a larger outdoor residential gathering is permitted, up to a total of 300 persons, provided that the overall density does not exceed 20 persons per 1,000 square feet of outdoor space. Accordingly, Michigan residents with larger properties will be permitted to hold larger gatherings under the new order. For non-residential outdoor venues, the limit remains 300 persons, unchanged from the prior orders.

By its express terms, the updated Emergency Order under MCL 333.2253 – Gatherings and Face Mask Order took effect on Saturday May 15, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. and will remain in full force and effect through May 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

As with the prior coronavirus orders, Community Associations must comply with all restrictions and requirements that govern the operation of commonly-used amenities. If you have any questions regarding the current order or would like assistance with drafting appropriate rules and regulations for your Community Association, please contact one of the experienced attorneys at our firm.