Michigan has cleared the way for the return of professional sports amid the coronavirus pandemic. This week, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that she has signed an executive order that will allow pro sports to return. However, there is a catch,
While teams will be able to play games, fans will not be able to attend the events, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“Good news, sports fans,” Whitmer said in a statement. “We are now ready to gradually and safely allow professional sports to resume in Michigan. While this is an encouraging step in the reopening of our economy, it is critical for athletes to continue social distancing and taking precautions to stay safe. We want to keep our momentum going and keep moving forward, so it’s incumbent on everyone doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Whitmer has previously said that fans may not be able to return until a COVID-19 vaccine has been discovered.
The NFL has agreed to place tarps on the first few rows of seats in every stadium across the league that will be used for advertising and which will also keep fans at a safer distance from the action.
Michigan has had 68,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, while there have been 6,097 deaths.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 123,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.