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Whitmer asks Michiganders to suspend in-person sports, classes and gatherings for 2 weeks

Whitmer said she is not ordering restrictions; rather, she is asking for voluntary compliance to slow the spread of cases.

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking Michiganders to voluntarily suspend in-person activities for the next two weeks, following a recent surge in positive COVID-19 cases.

Whitmer held a news conference Friday with Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun to provide an update on the state’s response to COVID-19. During the conference, Whitmer presented a number of 2-week pause recommendations but said that she is not ordering restrictions; rather, she is asking for voluntary compliance to slow the spread.

The first recommendation Whitmer made was for youth sports to suspend in-person activities, like games and practices, for two weeks. Dr. Khaldun said that positive cases have been surging within youth sports and that an increased number of children have been testing positive.

“As a parent and former student-athlete myself, I understand how important athletics are to our children’s physical and mental health. However, parents and athletes need to understand the risk involved with youth sports if they choose to participate,” Khaldun said.

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“We’ve seen that the younger population has played a significant role in transmission during this most recent spike. I urge youth sports organizers to pause in-person activities for the next couple weeks, and as always, mask up, wash your hands, social distance and get your safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are able.” 

In addition to urging youth sports to suspend in-person activities, Whitmer is asking high schools to utilize virtual instruction for the next two weeks to slow the spread. A majority of Michigan schools are currently on spring break, which has caused concern for potential surges.

“Our recent COVID case numbers are the highest in the nation, and hospitalizations have climbed significantly in the last month. Michigan educators, students, and families have risen to the challenge over the past year, and I am confident they will continue to do what is needed to help save lives as we keep fighting the pandemic,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. 

“I support the recommendations of the governor. I urge schools to contribute the next two weeks toward the common good of our state and the health of our residents.”

Whitmer also asked Michiganders to avoid indoor dining and gathering with friends indoors for the next two weeks.

As of Thursday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has reported 723,297 positive cases since the onset of the pandemic.

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