Michigan coaches join Gov. Whitmer to encourage mask usage as COVID-19 cases rise

'The ball is in your court,'

Coaches encourage people to mask up as coronavirus cases continue to climb.

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer provided an update Wednesday afternoon on the state’s handling of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Wednesday was the highest single-day case count in Michigan in two months with state reporting 891 cases.

Whitmer warned if the trend continued, the state may be forced to shut down again. She specifically mentioned closing auto plants and pushing schools online.

To avoid that, she said, Michiganders need to wear masks.

At Wednesday’s news conference, she brought in reinforcements to help push that message.

Michigan State Univerisity coaches Tom Izzo and Suzy Merchant, and University of Michigan women’s basketball coach Kim Barnes Arico.

Together they warned Michigan could be on the same trajectory as Florida if changes aren’t made.

“We are Michigan people and we’re here to support our state,” Merchant said. “We’re asking each and every one of you please to wear a mask.”

“We would love for schools to open. We would love for our universities to open. We would love to play those rivalry games you talked about but we can’t do that without all of you,” Arico said. “We can’t do that without everyone in our state wearing their masks.”

Coach Izzo took a tougher stance on masks than his colleagues.

“But I’ve been a little disappointed how Michiganders handled some things lately,” Izzo said. “There is no task we can’t handle, especially when we tackle it together.”

“If we want our kids to be in school in the fall we have to wear a mask,” Merchant said. “If you want to see college football you have to wear a mask.”

One of the things Whitmer spoke of is the possibility of moving parts of the state back to phase three, which would have an even larger impact on the state’s economy.

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.