Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services has announced that contact sports will be allowed to resume Monday (Feb. 8), so long as certain health guidelines are followed.
Some of the restrictions include the requirement that masks be worn during practices and competition. For sports where masks cannot be worn and social distancing cannot be maintained, participants must be tested according to guidelines in the Testing and Additional Mitigation Measures for Athletic Practice and Play section of MDHHS’s Interim Guidance for Athletics, found here Michigan.gov/coronavirus starting Sunday.
The new order remains in effect through Monday, March 29.
“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,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement.
“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,” she added. “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.”
“We are pleased at our continued progress in Michigan that has allowed us to take this step forward in a phased approach,” added Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS.
He continued, “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.”
For more information, go here.