Campus Reform | UMich student athletes not happy with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's draconian COVID-19 restrictions

UMich student athletes not happy with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's draconian COVID-19 restrictions

Student-athletes at the University of Michigan created a petition asking for a reversal of a mandatory quarantine that requires at least a two-week pause on athletics.

The quarantine was mandated by state officials after a small outbreak of a new coronavirus strand.

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Student-athletes at the University of Michigan created a petition calling for the reconsideration of a mandated two-week quarantine.

The petition, created by University of Michigan student-athlete Chrisitan Hubaker, calls for the overturning of a state mandate, which requires a blanket quarantine of all Michigan athletics. 

“While we, the student-athletes at the University of Michigan, understand the severity of this virus and take it very seriously, we believe that this mandate from the [Michigan Department of Health and Human Services] is unnecessary and should not only be reconsidered, but overturned,” the petition states.

The petition states that a shutdown of athletics should have come from the University of Michigan, not local or state authorities.

“We trust the guidance and leadership of those in charge of the health and safety of Michigan student-athletes,” states the petition. “Given the university’s knowledge of the situation surrounding the athletic department, should a total shutdown have been necessary, it should have come from the University of Michigan leaders.”

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Local health authorities issued a mandatory two-week quarantine period for student-athletes, coaches, and staff of all athletics programs due to an outbreak of a new strand of a coronavirus.

Hubaker stated in the petition that the quarantine measures are unnecessary due to the testing and prevention methods that the athletic department has been enforcing since the start of the pandemic. Currently, athletes are required to test six times a week.

The petition also states that the student-athletes have been diligent about following these guidelines and that this quarantine order will punish those who have done nothing wrong.

He is calling for measures to be implemented on a team-by-team basis.

“Placing the entirety of student-athletes in a mandated quarantine, instead of working it on a team by team basis, is unfair to the athletes who have followed all protocols necessary to compete and have had no contact with the confirmed cases,” the petition continued.

The petition further states that this quarantine is “illogical."

"We believe that it is simply illogical to mandate a quarantine for the student-athletes given that at this point there are no extra recommended mitigation strategies outside of what athletes have already been in compliance with (masking up, social distancing, inner bubbles, etc.),” says the petition.

The student also said that a blanket shutdown of athletics is not the correct policy.

“Doing the blanket policy where we’re shutting down every single team even though there are some teams that have no traces of this variant whatsoever is not the correct response,” said Hubaker in a statement to The Detroit News. “The overwhelming amount of teams have no traces of this variant whatsoever. We would have much rather seen a team-by-team analysis of this. We think that would be a better response to the issue, and we think it was an easy way out to do a blanket policy.”

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The new coronavirus strain, which originated in the United Kingdom, is considered to be much more contagious. Several states have seen this new strain appear. According to USA Today, scientists estimate the strain to be 40-70 percent more contagious than the current strain that has affected millions in the United States. Researchers believe that current coronavirus vaccines will protect those against the new strain.

Several Michigan sports programs had to cancel games due to the Michigan mandate, including the men’s basketball team.

Currently, the petition has more than 5,000 signatures.

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