News Bite

Michigan's Big Ten Campuses Deemed High Risk For COVID-19 Yet Football Continues

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren explained why the league was cancelling its football season in an Aug. 19 open letter:

“Transmission rates continue to rise at an alarming rate with little indication from medical experts that our campuses, communities or country could gain control of the spread of the virus prior to the start of competition,” Warren wrote. The commissioner added that "financial considerations did not influence" the decision to cancel the season.

According to a state website, Michigan's two Big Ten universities are in regions where virus transmission risk levels were deemed to be high and very high on Sept. 15, when the Big 10 reversed its earlier decision to cancel the 2020 football season.

U-M's main campus is in the same state virus-tracking region as Detroit, and on Sept. 14 the region's virus transmission rate was shown as 45.4 new cases per million, warranting a “high” official risk level.

On Aug. 19, less than a month earlier, the Detroit region transmission rate was 75.9 cases per million, a “very high” risk level under the state's definitions.

MSU is in the Lansing region, where a 131.8 new cases per million transmission rate placed it in the "very-high” risck level category on Sept. 14.

The Lansing region transmission rate of 31.7 new cases per million as of Aug. 19 placed it in the “medium-high” risk category.


Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.