Gov. Whitmer signs order clarifying face covering rules for organized sports

Virus Outbreak Michigan
Posted at 7:09 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 19:59:22-04

LANSING (WXYZ) — On Wednesday evening, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order that clarifies rules on face coverings for organized sports.

The rules are to be maintained during training, practice and competition.

“The COVID-19 virus is easily spread through airborne particles and can affect everyone differently. By wearing a face covering when proper distancing is not possible, athletes will be better protected from contracting the virus and spreading it to family members, frontline workers, and vulnerable populations," Whitmer said. “We cannot afford to let our guard down. As we continue to fight this virus, we need to make smart and informed choices so we can beat COVID-19 together.”

Under the executive order, athletes are required to wear face coverings at all times during training, practice and competitions where they cannot maintain 6-feet of social distancing, this includes sports such as football, soccer, or volleyball. It's only acceptable to be without face coverings for "occasional and fleeting moments," the order states. Another exception is swim athletes. They are not required to wear face coverings if they are swimming.

“We are not out of the woods yet, and COVID-19 is still a persistent threat to our frontline workers, students, and families,” said Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “Individuals have a choice about whether or not to play organized sports. Since contact sports pose a high risk of transmitting COVID-19, MDHHS recommends that people should choose to avoid them. For those who do choose to play organized sports, we expect you to follow these strict safety measures and wear a face covering to reduce your risk and protect the health of your teammates, coaches, officials, and loved ones.”

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also recommends against contact sports during the pandemic.

Read the full executive order here.

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