Royal Oak Tribune
Testing confusion halts fall events
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.