Lawsuit against MDHHS to stop mandatory COVID-19 student athlete testing for spring sports

Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 8:15 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (4/2/2021) - A policy that’s already in place, is testing student athletes before practice and competition.

And that measure is being met with resistance and a fresh lawsuit.

What’s at issue is whether mandatory rapid testing is necessary or even legal.

Last year, spring athletics were cancelled completely, due to coronavirus.

This year, plans are underway to compete once again.

However, the testing rules that go into place Friday, has prompted a lawsuit challenging the decision.

Under state guidelines, students age 13 to 19 will be required to test for COVID-19 at least once a week in order to compete or practice in any contact sports.

This comes as an increasing number of young people are coming down with the virus, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

45 out of more than 1100 high school basketball playoff games were cancelled due to COVID related issues, including contact tracing.

The lawsuit, issued by the high school sports support group Let them Play, questions if the testing requirements are legal and want clarity on whether the MDHHS has the authority to mandate testing for all school athletes practicing or playing spring sports.

Grand Blanc High School Boys JV Basketball coach Doreace Martin talked about what he thinks needs to be done.

“They’re in close contact with one another. They leave from practice and then they go home which could possibly be a super-spreader that way. So, I think they should be tested.”

The state health department says the testing will help prevent the spread of coronavirus, as recent rates have been rising.

“We want all our student athletes to be able to compete, to be able to enjoy, doing something that they love to do. But, you know, in a safe environment,” Martin added.

Let Them Play filed another lawsuit earlier this year, after winter sports were suspended due to the pandemic.

That lawsuit was dismissed when compromises were made.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens next.

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