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Whitmer allows for professional sports to resume in Michigan, without a live audience

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Detroit Tigers celebrate a two-run home run by Detroit Tigers Niko Goodrum (28) against the Chicago White Sox during the sixth inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Mark Black)

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Thursday allowing for the safe return of professional sports, without a live audience.

The order allowed for professional sports training and competitions to resume, as long athletes follow the COVID-19 safety plan with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

“Good news, sports fans,” Whitmer said. “We are now ready to gradually and safely allow professional sports to resume in Michigan. 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. We want to keep our momentum going and keep moving forward, so it’s incumbent on everyone doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The order was signed following the Major League Baseball's announcement that a shortened 60-game season would begin July 24, with players reporting for spring training at their home ballparks by July 1.