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MHSAA says COVID winter game plan is up to county health departments

Michigan High School Athletic Association on COVID
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 6:28 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Professional sports teams across the country are changing their game plans as many teams with COVID outbreaks.

Many teams are increasing testing and health protocols. The Red Wings have even postponed all holiday break games due to new outbreaks.

Dec. 20, 2021: Michigan COVID cases up to 1,434,837 and 25,984 deaths

But with high school winter sports just three weeks into their season, Geoff Kimmerly, with the Michigan High School Athletic Association, said that hasn’t been the case.

“Obviously at the pro levels, they’re seeing some pretty significant outbreaks,” Kimmerly said. “At this point, we have not seen that at the high school level in our state this school year thankfully and we’re hoping that continues obviously.”

Unlike the professional level, decisions around high school game protocols will be left in the hands of the county, meaning games can look very different depending on where they’re played.

Coach Robert Smith for the East Lansing girls Varsity Basketball team saod they’ve already noticed how different it can be per county.

“We had a scrimmage in Grand Rapids and there were probably a thousand people there, including five or six teams, and nobody was wearing masks,” Smith said. “And if you do the same thing in Ingham County, you would have the majority of people wearing masks.”

That’s why the MHSAA recommends reviewing the guidelines for each venue before visiting. But sometimes keeping up with guidelines for other schools can be tough.

“I think at times it can be confusing but yet where were at, I think they understand completely what they have to do,” said Smith.

But even in the challenges of the season, he said the students are just happy they get to play.

“I sure love our kids and they’re playing hard and they’re doing what they’re asked to and as a coach, you couldn’t be happier to have that kind of people with you,” said Smith.

Michigan High School Athletic Association optimistic amid uncertainty

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