The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) announced on Tuesday that it will suspend practices for football, volleyball and girls swimming and diving immediately after receiving requirements for the state’s pilot rapid testing program.
The program, provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), is designed to gain insight and collect data on the spread of COVID-19 as the MDHHS plans to provide expanded rapid testing availability to schools in January.
The announcement comes after MHSAA allowed teams to return to practice on Monday.
“Due to requirements and need for more direction from MDHHS that will be forthcoming in the next week, the MHSAA has instructed schools still participating in those sports to suspend practice immediately,” read a press release from MHSAA. “The MHSAA also is working to update dates of competition to better reflect the testing schedule. Taking part of the MDHHS testing pilot is a requirement for athletes to participate in the final competitions in these sports.”
Fall sports teams participating in the pilot program are expected to receive rapid-results antigen tests and more instruction by Dec. 29. The MDHHS will conduct webinars on Dec. 28 and 29 to train school personnel who will be involved in the testing process.
Team practices could resume as early as Dec. 30 once the first tests have been administered. If schools are delayed in the start of testing, they may begin practice once individuals have had one negative test.
Confirmation of any updated tournament dates will be announced at soon on MHSAA’s website.