MHSAA Recommendation for Preparticipation Physical Exam evaluation for Post-Covid Students
The MHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recognizes that, over the course of the COVID Pandemic, students experienced COVID infections with varying symptom severity and duration and varying timing in relation so their seasons and school schedules. Some students experienced little to no symptoms while others missed significant time from school and activity, and the varying nature of experiences with the virus makes it unreasonable to place a single/universal model for screening students for complications from COVID infections. Therefore, the SMAC puts forward the following guidance for member institutions to use in screening their students for 2021/2022 participation.
- All student pre-participation physicals, by MHSAA rules, need to be conducted using the standard MHSAA physical form, or an adaption of this form. It is available on the MHSAA website.
- In addition, all students need to be screened for previous COVID infection occurring from March 2020 to the time of their physical. Member schools can decide whether to document this on the MHSAA form, or attach their own separate documentation. However, this should be asked of every student obtaining a physical for participation in 2021/2022 athletics and activities.
- Students that have been previously infected and missed time under the MHSAA COVID Guidelines should have been cleared by a physician prior to return to play. If documentation of this clearance can be produced and attached to their 2021/2022 preparticipation physical, then no further action is required.
- Students with suspected or confirmed COVID infections that have not had an evaluation for potential long term effects of COVID, should be screened accordingly:
- Students with little or no symptoms: Students that never experience symptoms or who have mild upper respiratory symptoms for less than 72 hours do not need extensive workup or testing for clearance for 2021-2022. Document in their physical that they were COVID positive and lightly symptomatic.
- Students with short viral symptoms of less than 10 days: Students that do have more severe symptoms, such as fevers lasting for more than 72 hours, severe headaches or fatigue, dehydration, or who have complications of other medical problems as a result of their COVID diagnosis need a thorough physical exam and workup that can typically be conducted in a primary care clinic setting.
Guidance for recommended workup for these students can be found here:
- Students requiring heavy outpatient treatment, hospitalization, or experienced symptoms lasting more than 10 days: Students whose symptoms are severe, require hospitalization, intensive outpatient treatment with medication and/or oxygen, or who miss more than 14 days due to symptoms or recovery, need clearance from a primary care sports medicine physician or a pediatric cardiologist. They should begin by seeing their primary care physician and being referred for the appropriate workup and treatment.