May 5, 2021
Dear Club and League Representatives:
Last night, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) amended Emergency Order MCL 333.3353 – Gatherings and Face Mask Order. The new order takes effect on Thursday, May 6, 2021, and will be in effect through May 31, 2021. In short, all players, team officials and referees must continue to appropriately, and consistently, wear facial coverings, at all times upon arrival to, departure from and during MSYSA affiliated (indoor and outdoor) activities.
When indoors, all individuals must continue to wear facial coverings, at all times, unless eating or drinking. In addition, non-participants (i.e., spectators) attending an outdoor sporting event with under 100 people are not required to wear a facial covering. All outdoor spectators of a sporting event with over 100 people must wear a facial covering that covers both their nose and mouth, per MDHHS, regardless of their vaccination status.
Weekly testing (SARS-CoV-2) of all unvaccinated athletes (ages 13-19) is required for participation in organized sports, including youth (club) soccer. Unvaccinated participants (ages 13-19) can only participate in organized sports with proof of a negative diagnostic test (antigen or RT-PCR) on at least a weekly basis. Fully vaccinated persons are not subject to the weekly testing requirements set forth in section 6(f) of the Emergency Order, unless they have COVID-19-like symptoms. “Fully vaccinated persons” means persons for whom at least two weeks has passed after receiving the final dose of an FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccine. Participants who have recovered from confirmed COVID-19 in the past three months (and who remain symptom-free) are also not subject to these weekly testing requirements, if they can provide the appropriate “proof” or doctor’s letter as described in the MDHHS Interim Guidance for Athletics.
There are now six (6) ways to coordinate weekly testing of unvaccinated athletes (ages 13-19). They include enrolling in the MI Safer Sports Testing Program, directing your athletes (ages 13-19) to local testing sites, working with local schools to get participants tested as students, independently contracting with a testing vendor/lab to administer the testing, procuring your own rapid antigen testing supplies, or purchasing and using ‘Ellume’ or ‘BinaxNow’ at-home COVID-19 tests according to manufacturer guidelines. At this time, ‘Ellume’ and ‘BinaxNow’ are the only two types of at-home tests that MDHHS has approved and may be used to fulfill the MDHHS weekly testing requirement.
In closing, our next (Zoom) conference call is scheduled for Friday, May 7, 2021 at 4 PM to provide you with our latest update. The Zoom call-in credentials will be sent by separate email to club and league representatives only.
cc.: MSYSA Board of Directors