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Gov. Whitmer signs order to reopen gyms and pools, permits organized sports

Gyms and pools may reopen at 25% capacity on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

LANSING, Mich. — Thursday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order reopening gyms and pools, as well as allowing organized sports practices and competitions. 

Gyms and pools may reopen at 25% capacity on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Gov. Whitmer also signed strict workplace guidelines that gyms and pools must follow to protect people from the spread of COVID-19. 

Under Executive Order 2020-175, gyms must require 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 and provide equipment-cleaning products throughout the gym. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) also released guidance today on organized sports. The document recommends against contact sports at this time, defined to mean those sports involving more than occasional  contact, including football, basketball, and soccer.

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.

MDHHS’ guidance recommends mitigation measures organized sports teams may take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during training, practices, and competitions. You can read the MDDHS' full guidance for contact sports here.

Some of those recommendations include frequent hand washing, not allowing players to share towels, clothing or other items and the proper cleaning of all equipment. 

“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. 

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