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New allowance from from governor’s office doesn’t change much: Schools allowed to resume sports activities prior to end of 2019-20 school year

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY , June 12, 2020, 3:11 pm

On Friday, as part of her weekly COVID-19 update, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that, along with overnight camps reopening, “K-12 sports activities … could resume” on Monday. 

WAIT A MINUTE!!!!

For schools that already had athletes out on the fields practicing this week, it seemed a bit head-scratching. 

NOW we can?

Hadn’t we already gotten to that point, with all the guidance from the Michigan High School Athletic Association? 

Well, yes and no.

If you remember, the “when” portion of the MHSAA guidance documents always put the first step of beginning to re-introduce school sports as “once the 2019-20 school year was complete” for each individual district.  

All Friday’s Executive Order (for the record: EO 2020-120) did was effectively lift that restriction from any district that might still be waiting for the official final day of school.

According to the MHSAA, which quickly investigated the meaning of new EO as well, the decision will still rest with local administrators, but Friday’s amendments to the earlier EO’s merely gives them the flexibility to do it on their terms. In essence, no school was closed any longer by executive order.

So, if you’ve already been practicing or training under the guidelines, you’re good. 

And if you’re about to begin — so long as the social distancing and gathering size limits pertinent to your particular region are followed — you’re also good.

———

In technical terms, this is what the new EO said, with respect to school sports:

2. Section I(1) of Executive Order 2020-65 is amended by striking the second sentence and replacing it with: “Consistent with the rules described in Executive Order 2020- 110 (including any rules on social distancing and the closure of indoor exercise facilities) and Executive Order 2020-115, whichever order applies to the region in which the school is located, and any orders that follow from them, K-12 school sports activities and other in-person extracurricular school activities may resume.”

For the record, this is what EO 2020-65 said:

“K–12 school sports activities and other in-person extracurricular school activities are suspended while any state of emergency or state of disaster prompted by COVID-19 is in effect. This section applies to all public, nonpublic, and boarding schools in the state.”

EO 2020-110 was the one that expanded the limit on outdoor gatherings to 100 people, while EO 2020-115 was last Friday’s update, which moved Regions 6 and 8 into Stage 5 of the Safe Start Plan.

So, provided you’re following the guidance documents from the MHSAA, practicing or working out outside, in groups less than 100 (depending on your region), wearing masks and observing social distancing, not much has changed.

Carry on.