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The Problems With COVID Testing in School Sports (Guest: Chad Savage M.D.)

April 6, 2021

Everyone wants to stay safe from COVID-19, but schools and colleges might be overdoing it with repeated testing of student athletes.

Everyone wants to stay safe from COVID-19, but schools and colleges might be overdoing it with repeated testing of student athletes. This is the first season back from one year of lockdowns.

Michigan, for example, is mandating COVID tests before every meet or game and testing at least once a week before practice. Dr. Chad Savage worries about the possibility of false positives from broad based testing on symptomless individuals, which he calculates could put 1,500 students on the sidelines and their family, friends and classmates in quarantines lasting two weeks or more. The testing regime could turn students off from sports all together, adding to the stress and anxiety they have already suffered from classroom lockouts. Idle teens are at risk for depression and substance abuse and could develop poor habits which could lead to struggles with obesity.

Dr. Savage also discusses the costs of testing so many students. Testing will involve costly protocols, including PCR testing for test-positive students even though they may show no symptoms of illness.

Additionally, Savage discusses the problems with mask mandates during competition, much of it now outside and in non-contact sports and how this could put teens at physical harm.

Article Tags
Health Care
Author
AnneMarie Schieber is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News, Heartland's monthly newspaper for health care reform.
amschieber@heartland.org @HCPolicy
Author
Dr. Chad Savage is the founder of YourChoice Direct Care in Brighton, Michigan. YourChoice Direct Care is the first Direct Primary Care practice to open in Brighton. With Direct Primary Care (DPC) Dr.
chad.savage@yourchoicedirectcare.com