LANSING — With lawsuits ongoing and Republicans rejecting numerous appointments made by Governor Whitmer, contact winter sports have been approved to resume on Monday.
Effective Feb. 8, contact sports can resume provided masks are worn during practices and competition.
If masks cannot be worn, participants must be regularly tested for COVID-19.
“We continue to make progress in reducing cases and hospitalizations, helping protect our families and frontline workers and saving lives,” Whitmer said. “Now, starting February 8, contact sports can resume with safety measures in place. 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.”
Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said that the state continues to make progress.
“We are pleased at our continued progress in Michigan that has allowed us to take this step forward in a phased approach,” said Khaldun, who is also chief deputy director for health in the Department of Health and Human Services. “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.”
Sports organizations are encouraged to implement a testing regimen even if not required.
Spectators are allowed, with up to 250 people in stadiums that seat less than 10,000 and up to 500 at venues that seat over 10,000.
The epidemic order continues to pause other venues where consistent mask wearing isn’t possible, like water parks.
The order is in effect until March 29.