Basketball game

Generic basketball game (Source: Storyblocks) 

The Michigan department of Health and Human Services has issued interim guidance as contact sports restart.

The new epidemic order that allows sports to resume also requires masks to be worn during practices and games. If masks can’t be worn, players need to be tested regularly.

“Safety protocols like wearing masks and testing will help keep kids, coaches and families safe and allow our schools to remain open for in-person instruction,” MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said. “We also continue to urge hand washing, using separate equipment as much as possible and frequently cleaning and disinfecting any shared equipment and surfaces.”

Players will need to be spaced out at least six-feet when not playing.

“As a parent and former student-athlete myself, I get how important athletics are to our children’s physical and mental health,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “However, parents and athletes need to understand the risk involved with contact sports if they choose to participate. Sports that require frequent closeness between players make it more difficult to prevent virus transmission even when mitigation measures are in place, including masks. Even when not required, we urge teams to implement a testing program to protect athletes, coaches and their families.”   

MDHHS is also recommending limiting spectators to two per athlete. Spectators are allowed at games but with limiting it to 250 people in venues that hold less than 10,000 and 500 people in venues that hold more than 10,000.

Copyright 2021 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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