Royal Oak Tribune

Testing confusion halts fall events

- By Drew Ellis dellis@medianewsg­roup.com @ellisdrew on Twitter

The resumption of the fall postseason is back on hold just a little over 24 hours after it got started again.

On Tuesday, the Michigan High School Athletic Associatio­n and athletic administra­tors were informed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that practices should not have resumed Monday, as the pilot testing program had not been started.

The MHSAA then released a statement to the media Tuesday night indicating it would once again have to adjust its postseason schedule for football, volleyball and girls swimming & diving. Those dates have yet to be determined.

In a letter to participat­ing schools, MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl indicated that it communicat­ed with those schools over the weekend based on the initial informatio­n it was provided by the MDHHS.

It then went on to say that Tuesday, the MHSAA was provided with the full details and requiremen­ts for the pilot testing program for the first time by the MDHHS. The MHSAA determined it was clear that simplified expectatio­ns, requiremen­ts and directions were needed for everyone moving forward.

Four things were directed for the schools to communicat­e with their fall teams and athletes as of Tuesday:

1. All conditioni­ng, training and practice activities for fall tournament schools are paused through Sunday, Dec. 27.

2. Webinars will be conducted on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 28-29 to train school volunteers that will be involved in the testing process.

3. Fall schools should expect to receive the rapid tests with simplified instructio­ns by Tuesday, Dec. 29.

4. Once the first tests have been administer­ed on Wednesday, Dec. 30, team practices may commence. If schools are delayed in the start of testing, those schools may begin practice once individual­s have been tested. With testing not beginning until Dec. 30, tournament dates would also be delayed by one week. Confirmati­on of the updated tournament dates will be announced soon.

As The Oakland Press reported on Sunday, each athlete will be required to take three tests a week on nonconsecu­tive days while practicing and

competing in their respective fall tournament.

The test was described by the MDHHS as a noninvasiv­e process with a swab of the nose and that swab is applied to a card where results of the test appear rapidly.

Should a person test positive, that individual will need to connect with their own medical provider but will not necessaril­y be excluded from participat­ion after direction from that provider.

Each individual is required to sign a written consent to the testing program.

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 ?? TIMOTHY ARRICK — MEDIANEWS GROUP, FILE ?? After resuming practice on Monday, fall postseason athletes and teams again had to pause their plans on Tuesday. The MHSAA indicated a lack of clarity over the MDHHS testing program, forcing practices to be suspended immediatel­y and the postseason schedule to be pushed back again.
TIMOTHY ARRICK — MEDIANEWS GROUP, FILE After resuming practice on Monday, fall postseason athletes and teams again had to pause their plans on Tuesday. The MHSAA indicated a lack of clarity over the MDHHS testing program, forcing practices to be suspended immediatel­y and the postseason schedule to be pushed back again.
 ??  ?? Online: For more high school sports coverage, go to: THEOAKLAND­PRESS. COM/SPORTS/MIPREPZONE OR DAILYTRIBU­NE.COM/SPORTS/ MIPREPZONE
Online: For more high school sports coverage, go to: THEOAKLAND­PRESS. COM/SPORTS/MIPREPZONE OR DAILYTRIBU­NE.COM/SPORTS/ MIPREPZONE

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