LANSING, Mich. (Great Lakes News) – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) extended its Gatherings and Mask epidemic order, expanding the mask rule to children ages two to four.

That part of the order takes effect April 26th.

MORE NEWS: Mask Mandates Loosened in Michigan; Questions Still Linger

In addition, Michigan’s gathering limits, which was set to expire on Monday, will continue until May 24th at the current limits of 15 people from three households in residences.

Michigan’s embattled restaurant industry will continue to see indoor dining capacities stay at 50 percent.

State officials say the order is designed to balance day-to-day activities while controlling the spread of COVID-19.

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Despite Michigan’s restrictions which remain the tightest in the nation, COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise here. On March 19th, MDHHS ordered that all student athletes ages 13-19 go through weekly rapid COVID-19 tests in order to practice or compete.

Surrounding states are seeing a drop in cases and have moved to mask advisories rather than mandates.