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State to require weekly COVID tests for student athletes aged 13 to 19

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The state will soon require weekly COVID-19 tests for student athletes aged 13 to 19.

Previously, tests were only required for sports like wrestling and swimming, where masks could pose a hazard.

Doctor Joneigh Khaldun is the state's Chief Medical Executive.

“Due to the many outbreaks linked to sports, this new order requires youth athletes aged 13 to 19 years old to take part in the weekly testing program to participate in athletic practices or competitions.”Khaldun said that part of the order will take effect in two weeks.

But starting Monday, outdoor stadiums can seat up to 20% of their capacity. Teams must have plans to enforce mask and social distancing requirements.

Khaldun said that’s as vaccines become more available, and temperatures gets warmer.

“But we are not out of the woods yet, and we could potentially be at the beginning of another surge in Michigan. How this plays out depends on what we all do collectively to protect ourselves and our families.”

She also said this all takes place despite troubling trends in COVID cases and positivity rates from COVID tests.

Text of the order was not immediately available. Nor was information on how it might be applied specifically to teens in middle school, high school and club sports.

A department spokesperson said there would be additional guidance issued.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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