State health officials are recommending strategies to schools on how to slow the spread of coronavirus disease in Michigan.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued interim guidelines on Wednesday. The guidelines may be updated because of the fluidity of the situation.
The top recommendations are familiar ones applicable in all settings. They include encouraging people to stay home when they are sick and reinforcing the importance of washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes.
The guidelines also urge schools to consider various ways to reduce larger congregations of students. One suggestion is having students eat meals in their classrooms or alter meal schedules for smaller group gatherings. Another is to limit inter-school interactions and to limit large gatherings within schools like assemblies. They also suggest altering schedules for recess and the start and end of the school day to decrease the mixing of large groups of students and staff.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced Thursday that its postseason March 12-14 events will take place as scheduled. But attendance will be restricted while online live streaming of finals will be provided.
The MHSAA says it is basing the attendance restrictions on state officials' recommendations to limit the size of gatherings.
The MHSSA restrictions range from no spectators at events with the highest number of participants to limiting attendance at others to parents, legal guardians, and essential administrators.
Bands, cheerleader, and other gatherings in parking lots or elsewhere on-site will not be allowed, according to the MHSAA. Online tickets have been stopped, and refunds will be available for already purchased tickets.
"While this is unfortunate for many reasons, we intend to do everything possible to allow our students who have earned the opportunities to compete at these highest levels to do so," said MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl in a written statement. "However we also take seriously our responsibility to help slow the spread of this disease."
You can find detailed information about the specific athletic events here.
The MHSAA says updates will be announced on Monday, March 16, for the remainder of the girls and boys basketball tournaments.