Report: Officials say 99.6 percent of Michigan high school athlete COVID-19 tests are negative

An overwhelming majority of high school athletes in Michigan have played without testing positive for the coronavirus recently.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services told the state’s high school sports association that 99.6 percent of all COVID-19 tests administered since Dec. 30 have produced a negative result, MLive.com reported on Monday.

The availability of testing has allowed the state to resume fall sports, which recently returned from a six-week pause and have faced delayed at different points of the school year. The Michigan High School Athletic Association told MLive.com, a statewide news outlet in Michigan, the percentage of schools able to play games has remained in the “mid-to-upper-90s,” with around 5 or less percent of games canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

“I don’t know if we knew what to expect, but we’re really excited about it,” MHSAA spokesperson Geoff Kimmerly told MLive.com. “That’s an incredible number.”

WIAA Executive Director Mick Hoffman has spoken to MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl about the state’s return-to-play. In an interview with SBLive on Friday, Hoffman said Uyl helped give him an idea of what a return to play would look like with a mask requirement across all sports.

State officials in Washington told the WIAA last week masks will be mandated across all sports in practice and games. In Michigan, masks are required in sports where athletes can’t keep six feet of distance.

“… his son’s a football player also. And they were wearing masks all season. And he said, ‘yeah, you know, it was a topic.’ But he said, ‘we got through it and there were no issues with it, and if that’s what it took for our governor to allow us to play, then we wore the mask.’ He said ‘my son didn’t like it, but he got used to it by the end of the season.’ So that was really a non-issue. Now, he might go through four of those blue hospital tightness in a game. But they did not have any issues.”

Mick Hoffman on his conversation with Mark Uyl, executive director of the MHSAA

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