Winter COVID Testing at Central Kitsap High School

Get to know how Central Kitsap plans to take cautionary steps against the spread of COVID with winter athletics.



Image of COVID

by Leah Howell, Reporter

With the new winter sports season starting up and being all indoors, Central Kitsap High School has a new COVID testing program for athletics. 

Image of test tubes Credit: Polina Tankilevitch

From the COVID-19 Sporting Activities, Fitness, and Training Guide, “Screening testing is recommended for all unvaccinated participants (e.g., athletes, coaches, trainers) in moderate and high contact sports. The frequency of testing should be based on the level of disease transmission, the contact level, and venue (indoors vs. outdoors).”

This program has Central Kitsaps winter sports athletes tested twice weekly as a minimum requirement. 

Bill Baxter ,Central Kitsap High School’s Athletic Director, says all athletes will have to be tested, “a minimum of two times a week and they have to be tested within 24 hours of a contest or a game or a match.” 

Even with pre-contest testing, athletes will still ultimately be tested biweekly, unless there is a special circumstance such as an over the weekend tournament or back to back games where they may have to be tested more frequently. 

“You have to test the day before or the day of that particular contest… you couldn’t test on Monday, play a match on Thursday, and then test again on Friday because there is too many days in between,” said Franklyn MacKenzie, the Executive Director of Student Support.

However “vaccinated participants without symptoms do not have to undergo routine screening testing,” states the COVID-19 Sporting Activities, Fitness, and Training Guide. 

“If you’re a vaccinated athlete, you don’t have to test unless you wish to,” says MacKenzie. 

“They’re [unvaccinated] the only ones that have to be tested and vaccinated [athletes] don’t have to be tested unless they choose to,” says Baxter “they can participate in the program, as well, if they’d want to just for their own self wellbeing.”

COVID-19 Tests that CK is using (Leah Howell)

All coaches are required to test as well due to the fact that they have the same procedures as the players. 

A new aspect that this testing is allowing is for no more required mask mandates during competition. 

“The players will not have to wear masks during competition now,” says Baxter.

“I don’t think they have to wear masks while competing and that’s why we are testing… you can’t do one or the other. It’s the testing and then they don’t have to mask while they’re competing,” further explained MacKenzie. 

The school district is following guidelines from the Department of Health and following and putting as many mitigations in place so there is not an outbreak. The real purpose of testing is to be able to continue with sports. 

 “The real intent is so kids can continue to participate in sports and be able to do what they want to do,” says MacKenzie.