OKEMOS, Mich. — A COVID-19 outbreak has forced Okemos High School to suspend all activity for the boys basketball team through March 8.
Seven members of the team tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
“Families have been great about communicating with us in terms of their students’ symptoms and testing that they’re doing," Okemos Public Schools Superintendent John Hood said, "so really it’s that communication between home and school has really helped us take the appropriate actions to keep people safe.”
Two games scheduled for this week have been canceled. Okemos High School is working with the Ingham County Health Department to contain the spread and notify others who may have been exposed.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association oversees nearly 750 teams across the state. Communications Director Geoff Kimmerly said current COVID-19 rates are similar to those in the fall.
“We had testing to complete our fall sports in January where we had very, very good success in terms of limiting the spread," he said. "I think 99.8 percent of our tests came back negative.”
Schools are not required to disclose cases to the MHSAA but are encouraged to report them to their local health department and comply with its guidelines.
Health officials recommend 14 days of quarantine after a COVID-19 diagnosis. Kimmerly urged high school athletes to take that suggestion seriously.
“You want everyone to be able to play their games and continue throughout their seasons as they normally would," he said, "but when you see this, it’s not necessarily something that should be taken negatively as much as it should be taken as them being careful.”
East Lansing High School also reported an outbreak among its boys basketball team on Monday. The number of cases is not yet known.