May 6, 2021
To the Members of our Michigan Hockey Community:
On Tuesday, May 4th, Governor Whitmer announced a new Gatherings & Face Mask Order, confirming that masks will generally not be required outdoors unless the gathering has 100 or more people. This new order will be in effect Thursday, May 6th – Monday, May 31st, 2021.
In addition, new guidance from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) confirms that organized sports participants no longer require weekly COVID-19 testing if they are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic. This is also confirmed in the May 4th Interim Guidance for Athletics. Please note that facial coverings will still be required for participation in rinks, both on and off the ice.
Given the new guidance, here is a review of the risk mitigation protocols set forth by the MDHHS MI Safer Sports COVID-19 Testing Program:
MAHA Associations (Spring / Summer Hockey) – All MAHA associations will be required to enroll in the MI Safer Sports Testing program, if they have teams (ages 13-19) organizing Spring and/or Summer hockey activities. During the enrollment process, associations will confirm their testing plan in order to comply with the May 4th Epidemic Order. Options would include:
NOTE: Regardless of the option chosen, all associations will be responsible for ensuring that participants complete the weekly testing requirements. This includes retrieving appropriate documentation of testing compliance.
Independent Teams (Spring / Summer Hockey) – Independent teams, not directly affiliated with a local association in Michigan, are still required to enroll in the MI Safer Sports program for Spring and/or Summer Hockey if they include participants (ages 13-19). Same as associations, these teams will need to confirm their testing plan in order to comply with the May 4th Epidemic Order. All independent teams will be responsible for ensuring that its participants complete the weekly testing requirements, including retrieval of appropriate documentation of testing compliance.
Tournaments / Camps – Local tournament and camp organizers will not be required to administer testing as part of their event(s). However, it should be a mandate that participants provided appropriate documentation, confirming test compliance, that is applicable to the period of participation.
Documentation – For those teams or associations that are not administering their own testing, retrieving the appropriate documentation from participants remains critical to ensure testing compliance. MAHA has provided the following documents to achieve this:
Testing Exemptions – Participants (ages 13-19) may be exempt from the testing protocol under the following circumstance
2. Fully vaccinated persons are not subject to the sports testing requirements set forth in Section 6(f) of the May 4th Gatherings and Face Mask Order, unless they have COVID-19 like symptoms. These participants may provide a copy of their vaccination card to confirm this exemption.
For more information on the MI Safer Sports COVID-19 Testing Program, please visit the COVID-19 page of the MAHA website. The Michigan Amateur Hockey Association will provide more details as we continue to receive additional direction and guidance from the MDHHS. We thank you for your continued compliance and ongoing support!