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Michigan Governor Requests Pause in Youth Sports

Andy Berg

Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer and the state’s top doctor have asked for a two-week pause in youth sports but noted that her request is a recommendation and not a directive.

“Right now our numbers are alarming, and we all have a role to play to get our state moving in the right direction again," Whitmer said in a news briefing April 9, 2021, according to a local ABC affiliate. "That’s why I’m renewing my call on the federal government to surge additional vaccines to our state. And it’s why I’m urging high schools and youth sports to voluntarily suspend in-person activities for the next two weeks.”

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, said the COVID-19 metrics followed by the state health department include:

·       515 cases per million people, four times where Michigan was in the middle of February.

·       18% case positivity from testing. Khaldun said this metric was four times from where Michigan was in the middle of February, and the state hasn't seen that high of a percentage since last spring.

·       15.2% of hospital beds across the state were being use to hold COVID-19 patients

Athletic directors in the state are now working through how they plan to move forward.

“We’re meeting with the health department this afternoon to try to figure out what our next steps are going to be,” Traverse City West Athletic Director Jason Carmein said. “It certainly was news I maybe didn’t expect.”

“We appreciate she gave us the decision and the choice to proceed. We think we’re going to stay the course and still provide opportunities for our kids to participate,” Kingsley Athletic Director Mitchell Miggenburg said. “We feel like we’re doing everything we can to make it as safe as possible.”

Grand Traverse Bay YMCA plans to follow the governor’s request.

They’ve made the decision to suspend all youth sports practices and games for the next two weeks.

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