Spring sport teams now taking weekly COVID tests


Meghan Maier, Online Editor

As spring sports start up their season, a mandate from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has been created: all spring sport athletes must be tested weekly as a way to try and prevent the spread of COVID throughout schools.

“I think it’s a necessary thing to have,” junior and track athlete Josh Maier said. “If that’s what I have to do to continue competing in my sport then I will continue to do it. It’s not something I look forward to each week but it’s something I have to and willing to do if I can play my sport.”

A concern with testing athletes each week is that people are wondering if the tests will actually help in the way they are intended. 

“I see it both ways,I do think there is a possibility that it will help, but I can also see it not helping,” junior and baseball athlete Peyton Jackson said. “By getting tested each week, it will get students that test positive away from other students quicker; however, I think it also won’t limit the spread because with these student athletes around other teammates and schools, it will lead to more contact with others and more contact tracing.” 

Now that COVID testing has begun, students are starting to wonder if any other sport teams had to be tested this year.

“Only a few teams had to test previous to now,” Athletic Director Michael Bakker said. “The state qualifiers for the girls swim and dive team were tested and wrestling was mandated to test in the winter.”

However, with every plan there are negative sides to it.

“Rapid tests tend to have a very high false positive rate,” senior Taylor Farrell. “Because there is such a high false positive rate, it could end up sending a lot of kids into quarantine that shouldn’t be. It makes me very nervous to think that I could get quarantined for the last month of my senior year. Weekly testing will potentially cause a lot of kids to miss out on both school and sports even if they aren’t sick.”

Certain sports teams may not have had to be tested, but with the mandate from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) executive order on Mar. 19, all athletes must have a negative COVID test to continue partaking in their sport. 

“These rules are not ours,” Bakker said. “I hope students understand that just like contact tracing and quarantining, we have during the school day is not our choice. The rules are from MDHHS and we have to follow them.”

There may still be some unknowns about how testing will go, but Fenton High is hoping this will be a successful way to keep students and teachers safe.