Capacity limits for outdoor events to be lifted

MARQUETTE — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday announced an updated Vacc to Normal plan, lifting capacity limits for outdoor events on June 1.

Additionally, indoor capacity limits will increase to 50%, allowing indoor social gatherings such as weddings and funerals to move closer to normalcy.

On July 1, the state will no longer limit capacity at indoor or outdoor gatherings.

“As Michiganders have stepped up to get vaccinated and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has released new guidance on masks, we are adapting the MI Vacc to Normal challenge to keep up,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Starting June 1st, we will be moving forward, faster than excepted, towards a return to normalcy. Soon, Michiganders will be able to celebrate together, have summer weddings and even enjoy a Fourth of July barbecue with family and friends.

“This is what we have all been working so hard towards, and I am so grateful to every Michigander who continues to go above and beyond to keep themselves, their family and our communities safe. Thanks to them, we can take these final steps towards a return to the normalcy and build our economy back stronger than ever.”

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said the pandemic has been “so difficult for so many Michiganders.”

“We’ve made incredible sacrifices for the good of public health and the safety of our friends, family and communities,” he said in a statement. “This vaccine is helping our small businesses reopen their doors. It’s allowing our economy to come back stronger than ever and allows for a sense of normalcy to return for families across our state.”

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, state chief medical executive and chief deputy for health, urged residents to get vaccinated.

“We have made great progress with our vaccination efforts, but the pandemic is not over,” Khaldun said in a statement. “We are working to make sure vaccines are accessible to everyone at their doctor’s office, in their neighborhoods or even in their homes.”

To reflect these changes, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will release an updated epidemic order on Monday. Throughout June, people who are not yet fully vaccinated will still be required to wear masks while indoors.

Ishpeming school

board to discuss plan

The Ishpeming Public Schools Board of Education will hold a special meeting at 2 p.m. today in the Ishpeming High School Library to recommend an updated Back to School Preparedness and Response Plan.

IPS Superintendent Carrie Meyer said in an email that the board will propose these changes:

≤ For all notifications of a student/staff member in the Ishpeming school district who tests positive for COVID-19, the district will continue to identify close contacts. It will use a 3-foot radius of the positive student for a period of 15 minutes as the criterion.

≤ Instead of requiring a quarantine of 10 days from school, the district will provide the family an option of quarantining its child for this period of time.

≤ If the family chooses to quarantine for this time period, the district will provide work for the student during his or her absence from school.

≤ If the family chooses not to quarantine, the close contacts will be required to undergo a rapid antigen test four times at school during what would be deemed their quarantine period, such as the mornings of the first, fourth, seventh and 10th days. If the student remains negative during these testing periods, he or she can remain in school.

Testing will be administered by trained staff.

≤ A student who tests positive will need to stay out of school until allowed back based on Marquette County Health Department regulations.

Nessel issues consumer alert

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is reissuing a consumer alert warning Michiganders to beware of scammers claiming to be from state or local health departments as well as vaccination clinics, asking for personal information.

“Bad actors have taken advantage of this pandemic at every turn — this is no different,” Nessel said in a statement. “Be wary of unsolicited calls claiming to be from a state or local health department or vaccination clinics. State and local health departments will never call you with threats or unrealistic demands that include asking you to hand over information like your Social Security number, birthdate or address.”

Nessel offers tips to avoid becoming a victim.

Hang up if they claim to be from a government agency or vaccination clinic and request personal information, make threats, demand an individual gets vaccinated or ask if a person is vaccinated or where the individual received the vaccination.

Nessel encourages everyone to review the COVID-19 vaccine scam alert at https://bit.ly/3u3yBzm for more information.

The scam alert addresses topics such as fake vaccines and offers to participate in clinical trials. It also has information on how to report a scam or file a complaint.

The attorney general’s office noted that according to the MDHHS, anyone concerned that a call may be a scam is urged to write down the name and number of the person who called, then reach out to the local health department to confirm the legitimacy of the call. Calls from the state contact tracing team will come from 866-806-3447 or MI COVID HELP.

The MDHHS indicated that during a legitimate COVID-19 contact tracing or case investigation, health departments will ask individuals about their health and request that they verify their birthdates or addresses. Health officials will also inquire about and/or encourage vaccination if people are unvaccinated. They will never ask for Social Security numbers, payment such as bank or credit card information, or immigration status.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net


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