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Local athletic directors 'cautiously optimistic' about new school contact tracing guidelines

Posted at 5:01 PM, May 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-07 22:40:18-04

ROCKFORD, Mich.  — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will no longer enforce the school quarantine guidelines that resulted in students who were in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person to stay home.

Local athletic directors are reacting to Friday’s news, but say they are cautiously optimistic.

We are just weeks away from the end of the spring sports season, and high school senior athletes have been concerned, not necessarily about testing positive, but afraid of being contact traced due to sitting close to somebody in a classroom.

Local athletic directors react to new contact tracing rules

Friday’s announcement from the MDHHS changes all of that.

We must remember that this is a group of spring athletes that had an entire season wiped away from them last year due to COVID-19 and this spring they have quietly been looking over their shoulder worried about what might come next.

These new guidelines, or lack thereof, don't change everything for spring sports, but it's definitely a step in the right direction for these teams and athletes.

“I am a little, cautiously, optimistic,” said Cole Andrews, athletic director at Rockford High School. “I feel like we've, you know, taken three steps forward than taking 10 steps backwards at times. And, you know, I'm cautious to get too excited about things because you just never know where numbers are going to trend and we see a spike again. And also, we're going backwards. So, you know, we've gone to 14-day quarantines, a 10-day quarantines back to 14, you know, the good thing, I think we're trending the right direction.”

David Kool, athletic director at South Christian High School, thinks it’s a step in the right direction. “I think this does give them a little bit, you know, keep their mind at peace a little bit. And I wish I wish it could be more than this. But it's definitely a good step forward. And we appreciate this. And this, we're grateful for this positivity. It's a time when we all could use some, some more positive news. So, this was good to hear.”

It is important to note that it is now up to each individual district on how they will handle close contact with a positive case for COVID-19.