Whitmer Blowing the Whistle and Letting Student Athletes Resume Play

Whitmer Blowing the Whistle and Letting Student Athletes Resume Play

LANSING - Michigan student athletes will be able to resume play on February 8, with new COVID-19 guidelines.

Masks will be required during all practices and competitions, however additional guidelines for COVID-19 testing protocols will be available for sports where masks cannot be worn.

“I want to thank Governor Whitmer and her administration for the decision to begin winter contact sports competition,” said Rockford Public Schools superintendent, Michael Shibler. “I applaud their priority to keep students and adults safe during the pandemic and for the decision to provide student-athletes the opportunity to compete.”

Student athletes will also be required to maintain a distance of six-feet when they are not engaged in physical play.

"Parents and athletes need to understand the risk involved with contact sports if they choose to participate," said chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “Sports that require frequent closeness between players make it more difficult to prevent disease transmission even when mitigation measures are in place, including masks.”

Spectators of up to 250 people will also be allowed to attend sporting events in stadiums that seat less then 10,000 people. Additionally, up to 500 people will be allowed at venues that seat over 10,000 spectators.

“As a parent and former student-athlete myself, I get how important athletics are to our children’s physical and mental health,” said Khaldun.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer also launched the Student Recovery Advisory Council to help supply school districts with a safe return plan, aimed for success, for when in-person learning resumes this year.

“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,” said Whitmer. “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.”

Whitmer also said that protest calling for student sports to resume held at the capitol last weekend did not contribute to her decision to allow students sports to resume.

“I’ve been very clear throughout this crisis that we are going to follow the science and that’s what we have been doing,” said Whitmer.

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