MDH recommends weekly testing for athletes; nixes mask requirements for outdoor sports

The Minnesota Department of Health is recommending weekly testing for all sports participants, but is also nixing the mask requirement for student athletes who play outdoor sports.

The updated guidance came yesterday from MDH and the Minnesota Department of Education.

The state is urging athletes, coaches, referees, volunteers, and other participants to get tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis.  Even students who do not participate in sports or group activities are encouraged to get tested every two weeks.

At the same time, participants of outdoor sports will no longer be required to wear masks while on the field or court, but face coverings must be worn while not actively playing, such as on one the sidelines, or in the dugout.  The masking requirements for indoor sports have not changed.

Health officials say much of the increased community spread of COVID-19 in recent weeks has been seen in younger Minnesotans, particularly among middle and high school students.

The state will provide free COVID-19 saliva test kits for any middle school, high school, and organized sports team.

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