Written by: James Tocco
Makower Abbate Guerra Wegner Vollmer PLLC
On June 22, 2021, Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services rescinded Michigan’s COVID-19 epidemic orders. This action came some nine days ahead of the July 1, 2021 date that had been previously announced for the repeal of these orders. This news comes as a result of Michigan’s progress against the coronavirus through significant mitigation efforts and the administration of over 9,000,000 doses of vaccine. This policy change allows most Michiganders to return to the pre-pandemic “normal,” whether they are vaccinated or not.
Michigan’s Gatherings and Face Mask Order is no longer in force or effect. This order contained most of the day-to-day restrictions that were imposed to combat the pandemic. With this order lifted, capacity limits, for both indoor and outdoor settings, have been completely rescinded. Moreover, there is no longer any statewide mandate for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated persons to wear face coverings in most circumstances. Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services had previously repealed the mask mandate for “fully vaccinated persons” on May 14, 2021.
In 2020, many Community Associations conducted their annual meetings virtually. Others postponed or cancelled their annual meetings in order to comply with the gathering and capacity restrictions then in place. Now, with all of these restrictions no longer in effect, Community Associations should decide how best to conduct their annual meetings for 2021 (or possibly for 2020 and 2021, concurrently). There is no doubt that some Community Associations who conducted virtual meetings in 2020 may prefer the online format for their 2021 annual meetings; however, many other Associations are looking forward to scheduling their annual meetings in person. No matter your preference, you may contact any of the experienced attorneys at our firm to discuss the options that are best for your Association.
While there is no longer a statewide requirement to wear a face mask in most settings, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) requires everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, to wear masks on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation:
Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on a ferry or the top deck of a bus). CDC recommends that travelers who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance when traveling.
Current guidance from Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services still recommends that students in school should wear masks both in this summer session and when they return to classrooms full time in the fall. This guidance is only a recommendation, but follows the CDC recommendations as to students. Of course, this guidance is likely to be revised in the future as the total number of fully vaccinated individuals increases and as the age of vaccine eligibility is lowered. Currently, individual school districts and counties are making their own decisions about required masking during summer school.
Michigan’s progress against the coronavirus has made these policy changes possible. As Michiganders emerge from 15 months of restrictions and forced social distancing, Community Associations will no longer be required to limit indoor attendance at their annual meetings, nor will they be required to implement other COVID-19 restrictions as to their commonly-used amenities. This is all welcome news for the start of Summer 2021.