Gyms, pools to reopen; h.s. sports back on the schedule.
At her Wednesday news conference Governor Whitmer stopped short of reopening gyms but stated we would be hearing something ‘soon’.
Soon arrived a day later when the Gov signed the order to allow the reopening of gyms and pools in the regions previously closed. She also opened the gates on the high school sports seasons previously on hold while reminding of the restrictions still in place for these activities to proceed.
Gyms must require wearing of masks at all times, including times of exercise, configure workout stations or implement protocols to enable six feet of distance between individuals during exercise sessions, reduce class sizes to enable at least six feet of separation between individuals, provide equipment-cleaning products throughout the gym, and more.
Spectators for indoor organized sports are limited to the guests of the athletes with each athlete designating up to two guests. For outdoor sports competitions, the organizer of the competitions must either limit the audience to the guests of the participants with each athlete designating up to two guests, or limit total attendance to 100 people or fewer, including all participants like athletes, coaches, and staff.
“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, ” said the Governor.”Today we are announcing the reopening of gyms and pools with strict safety measures in place to protect patrons and their families.
“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.”
Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun sounded a tone of caution regarding the return to sports competition.
“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.
“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.”
“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 Governor 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."
“On behalf of the Michigan Fitness Club Association, we appreciate Governor Whitmer’s announcement regarding the re-opening of gyms and fitness centers,” said Alyssa Tushman, Vice Chair of the Michigan Fitness Club Association. “The health and safety of our members, staff, and the public in general is our top priority. We are well-prepared to ensure a safe, clean environment and we are excited to offer Michiganders the opportunity to resume their exercise routines. We look forward to working with Governor Whitmer and her administration to help build a healthy Michigan.”