East Lansing: Mask requirement in downtown outdoor public spaces to end May 12

This comes one day after Michigan State University dropped its outdoor mask requirements on campus.
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 9:29 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - At Tuesday’s East Lansing City Council meeting, a policy resolution was approved to end the requirement to wear face coverings in outdoor public spaces within the boundaries of the East Lansing Downtown Development Authority.

The requirement will end on Wednesday, May 12 at 12:01 a.m. This comes one day after Michigan State University dropped its outdoor mask requirements on campus.

The Council’s decision was made after considering the updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which concluded that fully vaccinated people can gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask, except in certain crowded settings. Also taken into consideration was the Gatherings and Face Mask Order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which has lifted the mask requirement for outdoor gatherings of under 100 people.

“Taking into account the COVID-19 vaccine distribution progress in our state and recent guidance from the CDC and state, we do feel we are at a point where we can end the outdoor face-covering requirement in the downtown,” said East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens. “We are, however, doing this with caution and will continue to monitor the situation and make decisions with the best interest of the community at heart.”

Even as some rules are lifted, the community will still be relying on people to be responsible in order to recover from the pandemic. Community members are urged to continue to follow CDC guidance, even where not specifically required by a local order. For people who haven’t been fully vaccinated yet, that means masking up whenever around other people not from their household.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail says this is the right move with more people getting vaccinated and covid infections slowing.

“The state has issued guidance that does not require masks outdoors,” Vail said. “So MSU and East Lansing would be inconsistent with really broad guidance in regard to mask-wearing outdoors at this point in time. I don’t think it’s a problem. cases are dropping, we know outdoors is more safe.”

Masks are still required inside businesses per the MDHHS Gatherings and Face Mask Order. For now, masks will continue to be required at outdoor community events that draw large crowds.

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