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Gov. Whitmer lifts stay-at-home order early, providing increasing clarity on ‘when’ high school sports can resume

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, June 1, 2020, 3:34 pm

With Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announcing the lifting of her stay-at-home order early, we’re starting to get an idea of the ‘when’ that was so much still in question after the Michigan High School Athletic Association released its guidance document for restarting high school sports last week. 

The stay-at-home order was set to expire on June 12, but Gov. Whitmer announced Monday that it would be lifted early, and that restaurants could begin to open on June 8, with restrictions, and groups of 100 could begin to gather — with social distancing in place — an increase from the previous limit of 10. 

Gyms and fitness centers can offer outdoor classes, practices and training sessions as long as participants stay six feet apart, said the governor, who stated the goal is to shift the state to phase 5 — or containing the virus — before the Fourth of July holiday.

The MHSAA’s ‘Guidance for Opening School Sports’ document noted that there can be “no organized onsite athletic activity, including conditioning or competition, until the current stay-at-home order expires or is lifted by Governor Whtimer. When the stay-at-home order expires or is lifted … the return-to-activity recommendations may be implemented locally by school district leadership, provided the district declares its facilities open to students and staff, and the 2019-20 school year has ended for that district.” 

Contacted Monday, an MHSAA spokesperson said the association was still digesting the news and figuring out the timeline, and should have more answers to the questions by midday Tuesday. 

Game competition for all high school sports was halted on March 12, and all interscholastic sports activities have been idled since mid-March.