Spring sports students receive weekly COVID-19 tests


Photo by Quinn Millard

Freshman track runner Adam Elsersy checks in for his weekly COVID-19 test on May 2, 2021. It has yet to be determined if the weekly testing schedule will be impacted by Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s announcement on May 14, 2021 to waive the mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals for both indoor and outdoor activities.

Spring COVID-19 tests were put into action March 19, 2021 by order of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The action wasn’t targeting Dearborn Public Schools only, but the whole state of Michigan for children ages 13-19 participating in a spring sport.  

DHS Athletic Director Jeff Conway said that the department has worked in order to avoid a postponement of competition.Coaches have done a great job communicating the testing schedule and procedures to our athletes.” Conway said.

DHS athletic trainer Kelly Scala was assigned and tasked with administering COVID-19 tests to DHS athletes every Sunday. I think the only success to come from testing is just the reassurance for each team that they won’t have to quarantine in the early part of the week. Obviously athletes can develop symptoms after being tested, but at least we know going into the week everyone is negative.” 

Gym teacher and golf coach Kevin Barkoff said he is proud of his players for their efforts since the testing order was first put in place.  “The boys are doing a good job at turning in their paperwork and being where they’re supposed to be when they need to be tested,” Barkoff said.“Being outside helps for social distancing. At every practice, we check in with temperature checks and COVID protocol questions.” 

DHS Track and Field coach for the past eight years, Philip Mahar, said he hopes that weekly testing reassures students of their safety.  “Hopefully, it gives them confidence that it is safe to come to practice and meets. We have had some athletes who have missed practice and meets because they did not get tested. Sunday morning is an inconvenience, maybe, but it is also an opportunity to see your teammates,” Mahar said. “ I believe most athletes would rather spend an hour of their time on Sunday morning to be able to compete. Last spring the entire season was canceled, so the bottom line is that COVID testing allows us to have a season.”

Sophomore Track runner Noah Dobert said he thinks that testing is important but there should be some adjustments. . “I feel it is good we are doing rapid testing, but I think we shouldn’t have to wear a mask if we all got tested because we know everyone is safe,” Dobert said.

Sophomore shortstop , Elayna Bazzi, said she is appreciative of the order that was put in place in March. “I feel much better now that we have mandatory COVID testing. It makes me feel more comfortable knowing  I’m not surrounded by the virus,” Bazzi said.

All spring athletes need testing in order to participate in sports. Testing will continue to be conducted every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. throughout the rest of the spring season. Athletes typically receive results in 15 minutes or less.