Gov. Whitmer announces contact sports can resume

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the state will allow contact sports to resume on Monday February 8 if masks are worn during practices and competitions.

If masks cannot be worn, participants must be regularly tested for COVID-19.

The order runs through March 29.

Participants should 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 Gov.Whitmer. 

“We are pleased at our continued progress in Michigan that has allowed us to take this step forward in a phased approach,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “As a parent and former student-athlete myself, I get how important athletics are to our children’s physical and mental health. However, parents and athletes need to understand the risk involved with contact sports if they choose to participate. Sports that require frequent closeness between players make it more difficult to prevent disease transmission even when mitigation measures are in place, including masks. Even when not required, we urge teams to implement a testing program to protect athletes, coaches and their families.”

The state has been monitoring three metrics for stabilization or declines and have seen improvements. In recent days:

  • Hospital capacity dedicated to COVID-19 patients has been in 10-week decline, with current capacity at 6.6% for beds with COVID-19 patients. Peaked at 19.6% on Tuesday, Dec. 4. 
  • Overall case rates:  Currently at 159 cases per million after peaking at 740 cases per million on Saturday, Nov. 14.  Rate has been in solid decline for 24 days. Three MERC regions in the state are now below 150 cases per million people: the Detroit, Traverse City and Upper Peninsula regions. 
  • Positivity rate: currently at 4.9% and declining. This is the first time positivity has been this low since mid-October 
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