Whitmer allows return of pro sports – without fans

Coronavirus

Exterior of Comerica Park in Detroit, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020 as staff load moving vans with team equipment for the move to Lakeland, Fla., for the opening of spring training. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday allowed for the return of pro sports in Michigan as long as fans aren’t in attendance.

The move followed Major League Baseball’s decision this week to set a 60-game schedule to start July 23 or July 24 in empty ballparks. The governor said pro sports team can resume operations notwithstanding her restrictions on gatherings to curb the coronavirus.

Games must be played without a live audience for the “time being.” Only staff of the facility and media can attend.

“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,” Whitmer said in a statement.

Participants must stay 6 feet apart “ to the extent compatible with the sporting activity,” according to the order.

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