Michigan Gov. Whitmer hints at decision on reopening gyms, resuming sports ’in coming days’

Whitmer says decisions will be made to protect athletes, Michigan residents

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her Sept. 2, 2020, coronavirus (COVID-19) press briefing. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hinted during her Wednesday coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing that she will announce a decision on reopening gyms and resuming organized sports “in the coming days.”

“A lot of people are feeling anxious -- our students and parents and coaches and small business owners,” Whitmer said. “I also know Michiganders, me included, love sports. We love to compete. It is in our DNA and it’s a part of what makes this state so special.”

Although she didn’t make a public announcement about whether gyms and organized sports would be allowed in the state, Whitmer went out of her way to address the issue at the beginning of the questioning portion of her briefing.

“When it comes to battling COVID-19, we all have to be on the same team, and I want people to understand that we are working around the clock, and have been throughout the duration, to ensure that every determination is made with the best expertise, best protocols and following the best science,” Whitmer said. “That’s what we’ve continued to do and that’s how we will continue to operate.”

Whitmer said that’s the reason Michigan is in a stronger position in terms of positive COVID-19 cases, compared to the rest of the country.

“We have to get this right,” Whitmer said. “We take this very seriously, and the decisions that I will make in the coming days and announce are made in a way that will be protecting athletes and families and coaches and parents and patrons, or small business owners, as well. People’s lives are at stake. COVID-19 is still a very real threat all across our state. I will continue to treat it like that.”

The governor said she will have more to say on the topic “very soon” and told everyone to “stay tuned and keep your eye on the ball.”

Numbers by region

The overall number of positive COVID-19 cases per million people per day in the state of Michigan is at 59, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said. That number has declined in the last week.

The region with the highest case rate is still the Detroit Region, which is currently at 66 cases per million people per day. Khaldun said the case rate in the Detroit Region is declining, however.

The Grand Rapids Region is at 59 cases per million people per day. Khaldun said the case rate is increasing.

In the Saginaw Region, officials are reporting 56 cases per million people per day, and that number has decreased, Khaldun said.

The Kalamazoo Region is at 50 cases per million people per day, but the case rate is trending upward, according to authorities.

Case rates in the Traverse City Region and Upper Peninsula have increased over the last week to 40 cases per million people per day, she said.

Both the Jackson and Lansing regions are under 40 cases per million people per day and declining, Khaldun said.

The overall positive test rate in Michigan is at 3.1%, which has decreased in the last two weeks, she said.

Michigan is performing 30,000 tests per day, which was fifth in the United States last week, according to Khaldun.

More coverage

Here’s much more recent coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whitmer’s handling of pandemic:

Reopening Michigan:

Health questions, advice:




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About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.