June 22 (UPI) -- Michigan on Tuesday ended its mandatory COVID-19 mask rule and physical distancing requirements, becoming one of the last states to do so.
"Today is a day that we have all been looking forward to, as we can safely get back to normal day-to-day activities and put this pandemic behind us," Whitmer said in a statement when she announced the end of the restrictions.
"Our top priority going forward is utilizing the federal relief funding in a smart, sustainable way as we put Michigan back to work and jump-start our economy."
Michigan still requires those who are not vaccinated to wear masks indoors in public and the state's labor department still has rules in place for offices. Mandatory testing in prisons, nursing homes, long-term care facilities and for farm workers remain, as well.
"We can't let our guard down as there continue to be several variants of the COVID-19 virus circulating in our state, including the concerning Delta variant," Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the health department's chief medical executive, said in a statement.
"The COVID-19 vaccine is the most important tool we have to reduce the spread of the virus."
Other restrictions coming to an end Tuesday include those at congregated care and juvenile justice facilities, mandatory testing at state hospitals, guidelines for handling bodily remains and homeless housing.
According to Michigan's health department, 61% of residents over the age of 16 have received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose.