Mandatory Athletic Covid Testing


Janette Fu

(Left to Right) Located at room 402, Leann Macias, Caitlyn Gladysz, Ryan Cooper, and Anthony Cisneros, who work at OmniPathology Solutions Med, are going to test students and athletes.

Janette Fu, Managing Editor

Is it safe for students to participate in sports during such an unprecedented time? How can schools ensure the safety of their athletes and athletes from other schools from the deadly COVID-19 virus? 

On August 23, 2021, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health declared that there will be required testing for high school athletes, which will remain effective as long as Los Angeles County reports high rates of transmission. Mandatory testing took effect on September 1. 

SMHS is offering free COVID-19 testing for its students. While all students can decide whether or not they will test, athletes must undergo testing every Monday and Wednesday to ensure safety. If a student is under the age of 18, he or she must have a parent to sign up for weekly testing, which will take place every week on Wednesday from 11am to 5 pm. The school has encouraged students to test during breaks, lunch, and after school because it doesn’t want students to “lose valuable learning time.”

Wednesday testing for students occurs anytime between 11:00am – 5:00pm. To combat the potential crowd, there will be testing at different classrooms. Individuals with last names A-H go to room 402, I-Q go to room 600, and R-Z go to room 108. Every Monday and Wednesday, athletes will test at 7am-8am in room 402 to ensure that the results will arrive within 48 hours of matches/tournaments. 

According to the LA County Public Health Department, “Persons who show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-191 or that they have recovered from/completed isolation for laboratory confirmed COVID-19 within the past 90 days should not be included in periodic COVID-19 screening testing if the person is asymptomatic.”

As of now, SMHS vaccinated athletes will not have to undergo COVID-19 testing. Athletes should upload their vaccine cards because the school is starting to process them and clarify athletes’ status. SMHS’s athletic and Covid departments have expressed the importance of testing.

“It has been challenging with the numerous adjustments that have come from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Fortunately, we have Dr. Stephen Choi, Mr. Kurtenbach, Ms. Escamilla, and Ms. Reuter ,our new Covid support staff employee, to guide us through the process. As we all know, anything we can do to stop the spread of the virus is a good thing,” Mr. David Irie, athletic director, said. 

“COVID testing is one of the many mitigation strategies we use to keep each other safe. Testing is used to detect individuals who may be sick and infectious with the coronavirus. Some individuals may not even know they have the virus and may be spreading the virus,” Dr. Stephen Choi, SMUSD COVID Compliance Officer, said. “COVID vaccines remain one of the most powerful tools available to protect oneself and others. Vaccinated individuals are less likely to get hospitalized or die should they get infected. Vaccines, along with masking, distancing and frequent hand washing are highly effective towards preventing the spread of the virus. The SMUSD is very fortunate to have these mitigation tools and testing programs available to protect staff and students. In addition to having access to these tools, it is the responsibility of each individual to continue doing their part to limit the spread as we are truly in this together.”

If you are interested in taking SMHS’s COVID-19 test, visit this link: