Hello Spring Athletes and Parents,
I wanted to provide a little more information about the antigen testing for athletes. It is required for all 13-19 year olds who wish to participate in athletics. The test schools were given to administer is the Binax NOW Covid-19 Ag Card. Two consent forms are required before athletes may be testes. Please return these forms prior to your athletes first test day.
*These forms stay with the school, and are not sent in to the State or MDHSS
The testing process is very simple. Two links below provide specific information about the test and how to test. Student athletes will be swabbing their own noses. They will hand their swab to a trained test facilitator (Athletic Director, Athletic Trainer, Health Para or School Nurse) to complete the test. If a positive result comes up, that student’s parent will be contacted and we will begin contact tracing procedures. Thank you for your support and patience as we navigate our way through this process.
More information in regards to testing can be viewed below.
On March 19, 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued
an order addressing gathering limits and face masks that also included new COVID-19 testing
requirements for persons participating in organized sports, including school athletics. The athletic
activity need not be recognized by the MHSAA to fall within the Order’s scope. The March 19th
Order is effective through Monday, April 19, 2021.
On March 20, 2021, and again on April 1, 2021, MDHHS updated its Interim Guidance for
Athletics Interim Guidance for Athletics to explain the new COVID-19 testing requirements. In response, on March 24, 2021, the
Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) issued an update update for winter and spring
sports addressing the new requirements.
1. What are the new testing requirements for persons participating in organized sports?
Beginning Friday April 2, 2021, all persons ages 13-19 participating in organized sports (contact
or non-contact) must be tested for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis.
The Guidance also recommends testing before any inter-team competition, especially before
athletes come into close contact with athletes from outside the local community.
2. Are there additional requirements for contact sports?
Yes. In addition to mandatory weekly testing, persons who participate in contact sports where face
masks cannot be worn must be tested for COVID-19 before any unmasked athletic activity, up to
3 times per week. Persons who participate in contact sports where masks cannot be worn can only
engage in athletic activities, whether practices or competitions, if they have received a negative
antigen test in the preceding 24 hours or a negative RT-PCR test in the preceding 72 hours.
3. What is the difference between “contact sports” and “non-contact sports”?
The Order describes “contact sports” as sports involving more than occasional and fleeting contact,
including football, basketball, rugby, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, hockey, boxing,
futsal, martial arts with opponents, and other sports meeting those criteria.
“Non-contact sports” means all other sports.
4. What if our school sports team includes students below age 13?
MHSAA clarified that the testing requirement applies to all high school and middle school teams
with athletes “between the ages of 13-19” but that “students 12 and younger may participate and
are not required to complete rapid antigen testing.” Schools may, however, consider whether to
offer or require testing for athletes younger than 13.
5. What is required if an athlete tests positive for COVID-19?
After receiving a positive antigen test, an athlete should isolate immediately and obtain an RTPCR test within 48 hours. Unless the athlete tests negative on an RT-PCR test within a 48-hour
period from the original positive antigen test, the athlete must isolate and may not return to team
competition or practices for the duration of the infectious period (as determined by current CDC
guidance or, if more stringent, applicable local health department guidance).
If an athlete tests positive on an RT-PCR test and is asymptomatic, the athlete must isolate for 10
days from the date of the athlete’s first positive test. If the athlete is symptomatic, the athlete must
isolate as determined by current CDC guidance or, if more stringent, applicable local health
department guidance. The athlete may not return to team play or competition for the duration of
the infectious period.
6. Can an athlete who has already recovered from COVID-19 participate without testing?
Yes. Athletes who have recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months and who are symptom free may participate in athletics without testing. But to participate, these athletes must provide a
letter from their doctor attesting that they had “confirmed” COVID-19 and are symptom-free. For
this exception to apply, an athlete must have had a positive diagnostic test within the past three
months. An antibody test is not sufficient to demonstrate the athlete had COVID-19. All other
masking and mitigation requirements continue to apply.