(WSYM) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking for a voluntary suspension of youth sports and in-person high school learning for the next two weeks while also calling on people to stop dining indoors amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Speaking in her first official press conference in weeks, Whitmer didn't announce any new restrictions but did lay out her recommendations.
"I'm urging high schools and youth sports to voluntarily suspend in-person activities for two weeks," Whitmer said in a release. "This is a team effort."
According to The New York Times, Michigan has 16 of the top 20 metro areas with the greatest number of new cases per population, and the top 7 in the country.
Also, the state's positivity rate is the highest since April of 2020 when we were at the height of the pandemic.
Michigan is also tracking nearly 1,000 new COVID outbreaks across the state in all aspects of life, from bars and restaurants to K-12 schools and youth sports teams.
Earlier this week, the MDHHS said many outbreaks are related to youth sports, with wrestling, hockey and basketball being among the top.
"We have seen 58 new outbreaks in restaurant and retail settings alone in the past week compared to the previous week," MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said.
Michigan also has the second-most cases of the B.1.1.7 variant in the country.
"If we can just pause some of these activities temporarily, it will go a long way to save lives," Khaldun added.
The state has administered more than 5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and 3,129,702 Michiganders have been fully-vaccinated, according to the state. That's about 39% of people 16 and up. Everyone 16 and up became eligible on Monday in the state.