High school sports to return this fall

An executive order from the governor restarts fall sports, but advises against football.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday issued an executive order lifting restrictions on high school sports and allowing the fall season to restart Friday.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has been waiting on guidance from Lansing before resuming many fall sports including soccer and football.

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On issuing the order, Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive Joneigh Khaldun recommended against playing contact sports such as football.

“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,” said Khaldun in a statement.

Players of all sports except for swimming and diving will be required to wear face masks anytime they’re not actively playing. The governor’s order also will limit the number of people who will be able to attend high school sporting events as spectators.

Mark Uyl, the executive director of the MHSAA, praised the governor’s order.

“We are thankful for the opportunity for kids to get back on the field in all fall sports,” he said in a news release. “We share the governor’s priorities of putting health and safety first, and the COVID-19 guidance and protocols designed by the MHSAA at her request have led to the safe starts in all sports across the state

The same order also allows the reopening of gyms and indoor pools.

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