Governor announces more COVID testing for student athletes

State health officials want young athletes to be tested weekly for COVID amid a rise in outbreaks at school sporting events.

Middle and high school athletes will have to be tested for COVID-19 at least once per week beginning April 2 under new orders issued by state health officials.

The new mandate is meant to reverse a recent trend of rising coronavirus outbreaks tied to sporting events. Though in-person schooling doesn’t seem to be contributing much to rising infection numbers, extracurricular athletics does.

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What Happened: Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the new requirement during a press conference on Friday. The new rule affects sporting activities where participants are between 13 and 19 years of age. All participants will have to have a rapid antigen coronavirus test at least once per week.

Though the rule is meant to reverse a worrying trend of COVID-19 outbreaks among student athletes, the rule won’t go into effect until April 2.

Other Orders: At the same time, the state’s health department is loosening restrictions on large, professional sporting events. Stadiums with seating for at least 5,000 people will be able to operate at 20% capacity.

The move is likely to be a boon to the Detroit Tigers whose season opener is April 1. That will boost their attendance from 1,000 to 8,200 people.

You can read more on Bridge Michigan.

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