Minnesota urges athlete COVID-19 testing; masks in outdoor games now optional


April 23, 2021

Brian Peterson, Star Tribune

Helped by Minnesota Guard member Marie Howe, student athlete Zoe Thoma, completed a COVID-19 test at the temporary Carver County COVID-19 Testing Site at the Chanhassen Recreation Center in March.

Young athletes are no longer required to wear masks in outdoor competitions for COVID-19 prevention, state health officials said Thursday while urging them, and all middle and high school students, to seek testing to slow the pandemic.

While key indicators of pandemic activity such as hospitalizations have leveled off, the Minnesota Department of Health reported a record 1,088 infections with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 among pre-K-12 students in the week ending April 17.

Only 10% of infections in children and teens produce severe illness, but the rest can fuel viral spread, state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said. "Even a mildly ill or completely asymptomatic child can transmit the virus to more vulnerable people in their family or broader community."



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