Winter Indoor Contact Sports to Resume Feb. 8
Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that indoor winter contact sports can resume on Monday, Feb. 8.
Masks must be worn during practices and competition. If masks cannot be worn, participants must be regularly tested for COVID-19 consistent with guidelines issued by MDHHS. Safety protocols like wearing masks and testing will help keep kids, coaches and families safe and allow schools to remain open for in-person instruction.
The new epidemic orders remain in effect until Monday, March 29.
Testing and Additional Mitigation Measures for Athletic Practice and Play section of MDHHS’s Interim Guidance for Athletics which will be available online at Michigan.gov/coronavirus on Sunday, Feb. 7.
Participants need to maintain six feet of distance when not actively engaged in play and wear face masks at all times. Spectators are allowed with up to 250 people in stadiums that seat less than 10,000 and up 500 people at venues that seat over 10,000 people.
“We continue to make progress in reducing cases and hospitalizations, helping protect our families and frontline workers and saving lives. Now, starting February 8, contact sports can resume with safety measures in place,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer in a release. “Michigan continues to be a national leader in fighting this virus, and we must continue using a fact-based approach so we can return to a strong economy and normal day-to-day activities. One of the most important things Michiganders can do is to make a plan to get the safe and effective vaccine when it’s available to you. And as always, mask up and maintain six feet of social distancing. We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of the virus so we can end this pandemic together.”
“Today’s announcement is possible because of our progress over the last two months,” added Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “Michiganders need to remain vigilant, however, as we now have a new more easily transmitted variant of this virus present in our state. All Michigan residents need to minimize their risk by avoiding gatherings, wearing masks properly, social distancing, and making a plan to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine when it is their turn.”
Let Them Play Michigan attorney Peter Ruddell issued the following statement Thursday:
“Let Them Play Michigan appreciates Director Hertel’s efforts to move this important issue forward in a timely manner. The lack of high school sports has had a negative impact on young people all around this state and we are confident that sports can resume safely with precautions in place.
“We will need to review the details of the order issued today to determine the impact it will have on student athletes and their families across the state. After review, and if appropriate, we will take necessary action to dismiss the lawsuit.”