DETROIT – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is mandating COVID-19 testing for student athletes.
The health department believes the latest spike in coronavirus cases might be related to the reopening of high school sports.
School districts and the Michigan High School Athletic Association said the changes aren’t ideal, but they will do what they have to get to sports up and running again.
The mandate for testing of student athletes sent a shockwave through the sports community statewide. Initially believed to require daily testing, further clarification put the testing on a weekly basis.
MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl said the remaining winter sports are only mildly impacted and that wrestlers have already been testing.
“32 boys and 32 girls teams, roughly 950 basketball players that would still be remaining in tournaments the first full week of April,” Uyl said.
As for the spring sports, the testing rules aren’t available yet. Uyl said he’s concerned about the decision to make the age range 13-19.
Lincoln Park Public Schools superintendent Terry Dangerfield said there has been a considerable impact over the past year due to COVID.
“I think at some point we have to have some common sense here and say that schools can only do so much without extra help,” Dangerfield said. “And that help can come in a variety of ways. It can come in the form of funding but also in the form of people, which also comes at a cost.”