LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Michigan’s COVID numbers are on the rise, and the Governor is concerned. However, she has decided that it’s okay to allow more fans to attend the opening day at Tiger Stadium and local high school sporting events.
On one hand, the state Health Department is warning everyone that “We could be at the beginning of another surge,” said Michigan’s Chief Medical Officer Joneigh Khaldun.
On the other hand, the Governor says it’s okay for more fans to attend outdoor sporting events.
“Outdoor stadiums can now go up to 20% capacity with certain COVID mitigations in place,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
This means instead of only 1000 fans in the stands, over 8,200 can now attend the Tigers’ opening day.
That’s good news… but…
COVID is continuing to invade Michigan, which means “We are going in the wrong direction,” said Khaldun.
Cases were at 114 per million residents recently. That number is now 176 per million, a 77% increase.
The humber of positive tests has been at a four week climb. How high?
“A 177% increase since mid February,” said Khaldun.
The number of outbreaks has increased by 9% and last week, for the first time those in the K-12 setting have escalated more than in long term care facilities.
Many of those K-12 case can be traced to sports.
“Many of the outbreaks are related to sports. In january and February local health departments have identified 315 outbreaks related to sports teams, clubs, schools and recreational sports. This is concerning,” said Khaldun.
That’s why starting next week, the state is ordering every student athlete bet tested before practice and games, a way to mute the spread of the virus in this age group.
On a completely different subject, the Governor and her former Public Health Director are now free to comment on why Dr. Robert Gordon left. He said there were disagreements between the two of them.
But when Whitmer was asked, she wouldn’t go there.
“We don’t have anything to hide,” she said.
“I have said all I’m going to say about Dr. Gordon’s departure. We will stay focused on the task at hand.”
Which she says is fighting the virus, but rest assured that Republicans want to hear from both her and Gordon, and they might issue subpoenas to get that testimony.