Michigan expands capacity in outdoor arenas, increases youth athlete testing

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the state will increase capacity limits at outdoor arenas and stadiums during her press conference Friday morning. The state will also increase testing of student athletes between 13-19 years of age.

Outdoor stadiums and arenas can operate at 20% of the venue’s capacity when the new order takes effect on March 22 if they follow these requirements:

  • Establish an infection control plan that complies with the protocols included in MDHHS’s document entitled Enhanced Outdoor Stadium and Arena Guidance.
  • Post the mitigation plan publicly.
  • Send infection control plans to the local health department and MDHHS at least seven days before scheduled events.
  • Administer a testing program as specified in MDHHS’s Guidance for Athletics for all players.

"The pandemic has been hard on all of us, but by staying focused on acting quickly, following the science, and listening to experts, we can save lives and help our economy recover faster," said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. "Today's action is an important step towards normalcy, but there's still more work to do. As always, mask up, maintain social distancing and wash your hands. By April 5, all Michiganders will be eligible for the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is the most effective way to protect you and your family from the virus, and I urge all Michiganders to get vaccinated as soon as it's available to you.”

“More than 3.2 million doses of the safe and effective COVID vaccines have been administered in Michigan, and we are well on our way to vaccinating 70% of Michiganders ages 16 and up,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “While we are still very much fighting this pandemic and seeing concerning trends in new cases and hospitalizations, we are making these incremental steps that align with CDC guidance. We are again at a pivotal moment in our fight against COVID-19. Michiganders must continue doing what works to slow the spread of the disease by wearing a mask, washing their hands, avoiding crowds and making a plan to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can." 

To ensure consistency with recently issued CDC guidance, fully vaccinated individuals may now participate in residential gatherings with other fully vaccinated individuals without wearing a mask.

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