Skip to main content

MDH: Nearly 1,500 COVID-19 cases linked to sports since June

The sport linked to the most confirmed or likely outbreaks is basketball.

The number of Minnesotans who've been infected with COVID-19 while participating or attending sports events is nearly 1,500. All of the infections were documented by the Minnesota Department of Health since June 1, with data provided to Bring Me The News representing all reported cases through Sept. 5. 

The 1,452 cases includes 888 adults. It also includes 304 athletes between the ages of 15-17. 

It's unclear precisely how many high school athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 since fall sports began, but the Pioneer Press reported that at least 73 high school athletes had tested positive over a two-week period ending Sept. 4. 

The St. Paul newspaper cited data voluntarily reported to the Minnesota State High School League by 348 member schools. In addition to the 73 confirmed cases, another 735 athletes were in close contact with an infected athlete. However, 68% of responding schools had zero COVID-19 reports in the two-week period. 

The MDH doesn't separate infections tied to the MSHSL from non-high school sports, but between Aug. 23 and Sept. 5 the MDH reported 427 cases involving patients who played or attended sports events during their infectious or incubation period. 

An exact number of MSHSL athletes infected is unknown, though an MDH spokesperson told Bring Me The News that it would "have to be fewer than 304 since not all of those occurred during the time when the MSHSL would have been in action." 

The spokesperson noted that the sport with the most outbreaks since June 1 is basketball, with 15 confirmed or likely outbreaks. 

Detroit Lakes High School was scheduled to start the school year Monday, Sept. 14, but classes were pushed back a day due to someone in the high school community testing positive for the coronavirus, prompting a decision to start the school year with distance learning. 

The last-minute adjustment to full distance learning for high school students means all high school athletics and activities can only be participated in virtually. 

"Coaches will be reaching out to athletes this week with more information. We should plan on being in this model until September 25th but will know more as we move through the week and work with MDH on gathering more information," said Superintendent Mark Jenson

In August, the MSHSL board voted to move football and volleyball from the fall to the late-winter/early spring season with hopes that the coronavirus situation will be less of a threat. In response, thousands have joined a "Let Them Play MN" movement, including nearly 12,000 people joining the organization's Facebook group

The MSHSL has not indicated that it will reverse its decision to delay the start football and volleyball. 

Next Up

police tape

3 at trauma centers in critical condition after rural MN attack

Two victims and the alleged attacker are in critical condition.

grinch neighbor

Neighborhood 'grinch' sends letter to Burnsville family over holiday lights

A Burnsville family's holiday decorations were the subject of an anonymous complaint.


Anthropologie shutters Grand Avenue store, opening planned for Rosedale Center

The popular holiday shopping weekend marked the last for customers of the Grand Avenue store.

hospital, emergency room

Woman found on side of highway after hit-and-run

The 41-year-old was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Jorden Nicole Borders

Charges: Minnesota woman tortured her kids, removed boy's blood

Warning: This story contains upsetting content.

first snow

Will narrow band of 6+ inches of snow hit Twin Cities Tuesday?

The NWS says a band of 6+ inches is looking likely. It's now a matter of where.


Siblings, ages 19 and 14, killed in crash on icy MN highway

The crash happened around 1:15 a.m. Saturday in Carlton County.

Nicholas Kraus

Man sentenced for fatally striking woman during Uptown protest

Nicholas Kraus, 36, of St. Paul drove into a protest in Uptown last year, killing Deona Marie Knajdek.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Fleeing suspect crashes into vehicle in Woodbury, 2 injured

The crash occurred Friday afternoon after a pursuit with Woodbury police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 2.34.44 PM

Yes, that's MN native Jenny Taft in a State Farm commercial

Jenny Taft got her broadcasting career started in Minneapolis in 2011.

crime scene tape - police tape

23-year-old woman critical after shooting in Plymouth

A 23-year-old woman was shot Friday night in Plymouth.

white Christmas

2 MN towns among most 'magical' winter locations in the country

The list was compiled by Trips Discover and published earlier this month.



Only 'school-approved' fans to be allowed at MSHSL tournament games

The MSHSL announced limited access due to the coronavirus.

high school football

MSHSL reveals which sports can and can't resume this fall

The decisions affected football, volleyball, soccer, tennis, cross-country, soccer and swimming/diving.

coronavirus, ICU

MDH stops publicizing current total COVID-19 hospitalizations

Total hospital capacity remains public, but how many COVID-19 patients are hospitalized is not.


Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for June 5

There has been a massive increase in testing the past two days.

Cowboy Jacks

List of 19 bars in Minnesota linked to COVID-19 outbreaks

The majority of cases linked to the bars are young adults.


Let Them Play MN sues Walz over youth sports mask mandate

The CDC says masks may make it hard to breathe in high-intensity sports.


Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota reaches 60

The number of confirmed cases continues to climb in Minnesota.