High school league seeks relief from masks in outdoor sports

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota State High School League board is asking state health officials to allow spring sports athletes to compete outdoors without wearing masks.

The recommendation by the league’s sports medicine advisory committee applies only to actual competition. Athletes would be required to wear masks during breaks such as before and after races and while sitting in the dugout or standing on the sidelines. The request comes as Minnesota has climbed to fifth in the country for new COVID-19 cases per capita in the last two weeks.

State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm tells the Star Tribune that while the risk for the virus is lower outside, “it’s not zero.” She also warns of the ]recent threat of COVID variants that are more easily transmitted.