Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-176. This order reopens Michigan's gyms and pools where they had remained closed. This also allows for organized sports practices and competitions to return in regions where they had been restricted, according to WLNS.

“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. “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.”

The Michigan High School Atheltic Association also added onto the news:

The MHSAA Representative Council approved restarting the fall football season on Tuesday, September 8 and will conduct a fall football tournament for schools that wish to participate.  Fall schools will have two days of practice in “shells” (helmets and shoulder pads, only) beginning on September 8 followed by fully padded practice after those two days of “shells” practice.

Now, during this time, individuals are allowed to decide whether they want to play or not, as this order does have strict safety measures to follow for sports to be played this fall.

“Individuals can now choose whether or not to play organized sports, and if they do choose to play, this order requires strict safety measures to reduce risk,” Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said. “However, we know of 30 reported outbreaks involving athletic teams and facilities in August. Based on current data, contact sports create a high risk of COVID-19 transmission and MDHHS strongly recommends against participating in them at this time. We are not out of the woods yet. COVID-19 is still a very real threat to our families.”

Indoor organized sports will be limited to guests, with two guests per athlete. Outdoor sports will be a little different, with a maximum of 100 people or fewer will be required, including the coaches, staff, and athletes.

“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,” Governor Whitmer said. “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.”

As of this time, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services suggests against contact sports, which do include football, basketball, and soccer. During this time, frequent handwashing is being advised, avoiding sharing towels and clothing, and or other items to wipe their face, and ensuring proper cleaning of objects as well as equipment.

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