Lawsuit challenges mandatory COVID-19 testing of student-athletes in Michigan

Posted at 8:27 AM, Apr 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-02 08:27:57-04

(WXYZ) — Mandatory COVID-19 testing begins Friday for student-athletes in Michigan. It's part of the state's compromise to let them play while trying to minimize the spread.

But, a new lawsuit filed by parents and students claims the testing requirement violates their rights.

The group filing the lawsuit is called "Let Them Play," which is what the state is doing. But, the group said the state's testing requirement goes too far and is arbitrary.

This week, the state reported 70 new COVID-19 outbreaks at schools and universities, and a younger population is coming down with the virus, according to the MDHHS.

Just two weeks ago, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and state health officials more specifically attributed increased cases to high school athletics.

So, the state came up with the requirement to test athletes for COVID-19 if they plan to practice and/or compete in contact sports. The testing starts Friday, April 2.

It covers athletes between the ages of 13-19, and the tests must be done once a week if masks are required. If they don't wear a mask, they may have to test three times a week.

The lawsuit claims the athletes have suffered intangible injury from forced compliance. The suit also challenges the rules on quarantining and contact tracing.

Meantime, the Michigan High School Athletic Association does not believe youth sports to be the source of the state's rise in COVID-19 cases.

Several districts, including the Detroit Public Schools Community District, will be doing remote learning when they come back from spring break to allow for a bit of quarantining.

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