Northern Michigan Athletic Directors Prepare for New COVID-19 Testing Protocol
High school athletes across the state must be regularly tested for COVID-19 starting April 2nd.
The state says recent outbreaks have been tied to high school sports.
Student athletes across Michigan will now undergo testing once a week for COVID-19 as winter competition wraps up, and spring competition begins.
And schools are working to answer a number of questions about the new protocol.
“How to do this without taking up valuable practice time, how to do this without pulling the kids out of the classroom, we’ve got to work with the teachers, we’ve got to work with the coaches and we’ve got to figure out a way to do this that doesn’t interfere, you know we’re a school first and this is educational athletics, we don’t want to have this impact the classroom any more than we need it,” said Dave Skinner, Athletic Director at McBain NMC.
Some schools already have a taste of what regular testing would look like, but they say testing every student athlete in every sport, every week adds a number of new pieces to the COVID-19 puzzle.
“We’re just trying to get out protocol in place right now, we tested for wrestling in the winter so we have a little bit of an idea of what it looks like, but on the magnitude of what we’re about to enter with all of our spring sports, we’re looking at upwards of 90 kids we’re going to have to test,” said Dave Jackson, Athletic Director for Frankfort High School.
It’s not clear yet how long the new testing protocol will be in place, and students will still have to wear masks during practice and competition.
“We’re going to do whatever it takes to get kids on the field. We’re going to go to bat for the kids, we’re not always going to like it but we’re going to do what we can to get kids playing. We believe the sports exist for the kids and so we’re going to do what we can because that’s our job,” said Skinner.