VanderWall calls on governor to resume high school, youth sports

Senate adopts resolution co-sponsored by VanderWall urging governor to open up sports immediately

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday adopted a resolution co-sponsored by Sen. Curt VanderWall urging Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to lift the suspension on high school and youth sports and allow play to resume immediately.

“There is very little risk of students contracting COVID-19 by playing sports,” said VanderWall, R-Ludington. “Our schools have ensured that their high school and youth athletes have taken all the necessary precautions to protect themselves and stay safe. It is time to open up and let them play.”

Senate Resolution 7 states that, “according to the executive director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association, the negative rate for over 30,000 rapid COVID-19 tests conducted over the last three months with fall sports was 99.8%.”

According to a national survey of more than 3,000 high school and college students regarding the coronavirus, 87% reported stress and anxiety, while 57% reported that their mental health had worsened. In addition, experts are concerned about potential further increases in youth suicide and argue that it is critically important for teenagers to have regular contact with their peers.

“Playing sports has been shown to improve one’s mental health in addition to providing physical benefits,” VanderWall said. “It is perhaps more important than ever to allow kids to play.”

The resolution also points out that neighboring states have allowed their students to participate in winter sports for several weeks without any significant COVID-19 outbreaks.