Public Schools

Change at the top of the MDHHS brings new hope

Written by Mamie M. Arndt

Nothing has changed. Boys and girls basketball, hockey and competitive cheer teams are still in a holding pattern in this coronavirus pandemic.

But now there is a glimmer of hope that those sports may be able to play before the Feb. 21 date arbitrarily set last week by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The hope comes from the appointment of Elizabeth Hertel to replace Robert Gordon as the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Gordon resigned last Friday, shortly after Whitmer ruled that indoor dining can resume on a limited basis while also pushing back the beginning of the four “contact” winter sports.

It appears that Michigan High School Athletic Association executive director Mark Uyl felt that talking to Gordon about high school athletics was like talking to someone who didn’t know if a football was stuffed or inflated.

Joey Tocco, a senior at Dakota High School in Macomb Township, plays basketball at home during the coronavirus shutdown.

[ Wake up, Whitmer: Numbers prove Michigan’s high school sports shutdown is senseless ]

“I can tell you the previous four days of communication this week with the health department has been better than it probably has been in the previous four months,” Uyl said Friday morning in a video chat with reporters. “There certainly is a very clear change that communication and dialogue is something that is valued by director Hertel. We’re appreciative all of the communication we’ve had.

About the author

Mamie M. Arndt