April 6, 2021 - Spring Athletics Update
Ann Arbor Public Schools
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
During the week prior to spring break, the AAPS experienced a spike in COVID cases involving high school athletes in all three comprehensive high schools, numbering more than 30 within a few days; contact tracing revealed that several cases were connected to social gatherings in the community that occurred over the previous weekend.
With the health and safety of students, staff, families and community as the priority, in collaboration with the Washtenaw County Health Department and with the intention of stabilizing and decreasing this concerning situation to preserve as much of the spring athletic season as possible, the AAPS implemented a pause in spring athletics activity on March 26th to extend through the spring break week. During spring break, several more cases connected to the 30 mentioned above were reported. The pause helped prevent further COVID-19 transmission among student-athletes.
I want to thank our athletes, coaches and parents for their efforts to strictly observe health and safety practices, despite the challenges, and we will need to remain cautious considering the state-wide rise in COVID cases. It is encouraging that post spring break testing has indicated a low positivity rate amongst our AAPS student-athletes.
Based on the post-spring break testing results from Monday and Tuesday, a <1% positivity rate, we will resume the AAPS spring athletics season and activity beginning on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.
It is important to note that all spring sports, save one, are conducted outdoors, and the meticulous implementation of the following safety protocols will provide the recommended procedures for the health and safety of athletes and all involved.
The following expectations will continue to be strictly enforced as a condition of participation:
- universal masking for athletes and all others involved in athletic activity,
- limited physical contact among athletes during practices and training,
- regular rapid antigen testing, as prescribed per sport, of at least one time per week,
- vigilant implementation of, and cooperation with, AAPS and WCHD contact tracing processes when cases arise,
- strict implementation of quarantine and isolation protocols upon identification of cases,
- strong caution for all involved regarding participation in social or other gatherings that could contribute to COVID spread, compromise health and athletic participation, and
- understanding that failure to fulfill the above expectations may result in the suspension of athletic activity.
Understanding the value of athletic activity for our students, over the previous nine months in the AAPS, we have consistently demonstrated a commitment, through decision-making and the investment of resources, to preserve athletics opportunities for our students while also maintaining the priority of health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff, families and community. This value and commitment will continue through this spring athletics season.
We look forward to proceeding with the spring athletic season and will continue to communicate as needed in the future.
Jeanice K. Swift
Superintendent of Schools