Gov. Whitmer to Open Gyms and Pools; Organized Sports to Resume
LANSING, MI - On Thursday, September 3rd, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced her decision to reopen gyms and pools, and will also allow organized sports practices and competitions to resume. Gyms and pools may reopen on Wednesday, September 9th, and must have strict measures in place to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
“Throughout this pandemic, we have followed the best science and data available to make decisions that will keep Michiganders safe, and our hard work is paying off. Today we are announcing the reopening of gyms and pools with strict safety measures in place to protect patrons and their families,” said Governor Whitmer in a press release. “I urge everyone who plans to hit the gym after these orders go into effect to take these precautions seriously and do everything in their power to protect themselves and their families. Be smart, and stay safe.”
Under this new executive order, gyms must require the wearing of masks at all times, even during exercise. Workout stations must be adequately spaced to allow at least six feet of distance between individuals, and cleaning products must be placed throughout the gym in order to wipe down surfaces and equipment that have been touched.
In regard to indoor sporting events, each athlete is only allowed two guests. Outdoor sporting events differ slightly. Organizers of those events can either have a maximum of 100 people, or each athlete is permitted to have two guests in attendance. The total attendance of 100 also includes all athletes, coaches, and other staff.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) released their guidelines on organized sports. They currently recommend against contact sports such as football, basketball, and soccer. MDHHS also states that activities involving shouting, singing, or breathing forcefully are at a higher risk of spreading COVID-19.
“As we begin to start organized sports back up again, I urge school districts and athletic associations to do everything in their power to protect players, coaches, and staff. That means carefully following the guidelines released today by DHHS,” said Whitmer. “Going forward, we will continue to work with health experts to assess the risk associated with business sectors that remain closed. For the health and safety of our families and frontline workers, it is crucial that we proceed thoughtfully and incrementally so we can measure the effects of today's actions before we take additional steps towards re-engagement."