Skip to main content

MN health leaders want prep sports halted amid COVID-19 surge

Gov. Walz said new guidance will be released "within the next day or so."
state hockey tournament, mshsl

Fall sports season will culminate with high school football section playoffs happening the next few weeks, but whether those games are allowed to be played amid Minnesota's rapidly rising COVID-19 crisis is becoming uncertain. 

On Monday, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm confirmed that she and other public health leaders are urging the Department of Education and the Minnesota State High School League to bring all youth and high school sports to a halt. 

"We're really looking at where the data are," said Malcolm. "The number of cases we've seen associated with sports has been growing, so we are urging there to be a pause on play and on practice. We're in dialogue right now with our colleagues in education and the high school league.

"From a health advice standpoint, we'd really like to see sports put on pause," Malcolm added. 

According to MDH's Kris Ehresmann, director of infectious disease, there have been 46 COVID-19 outbreaks linked to hockey, 41 with volleyball, 35 with football, 20 with basketball and 15 with soccer.

"We know that overall, at least 10% of all the cases in school are associated with sports," said Ehresmann, adding that two unidentified schools were forced to move to distance learning "just because of sports exposures." 

Follow Bring Me The News on News Break

Gov. Tim Walz said new guidance on youth and high school sports will be issued within the next day or so. 

"The issue around athletics is always an incredibly tough one," said Walz. "I think you'll be seeing some guidance come from the state on this within the next day or so. I think we've had deep concern about competition among schools in differing areas and we're even seeing interstate play amongst club sports and those are starting to show some pretty high numbers springing up."

Football and volleyball seasons started later than usual and were already going without state tournaments due to not having enough time to play enough regular season and playoff games, and many winter sports were pushed back due to the fall sports seasons starting late. 

We'll have more information once new guidance is issued. 

The latest forecast from Sven Sundgaard

Next Up


Cities prepare for release of footage showing Tyre Nichols' fatal arrest by Memphis PD

Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara issued a statement on the incident Thursday.

DeShaun Hill

Cody Fohrenkam found guilty of Deshaun Hill Jr.'s murder

The 15-year-old was fatally shot on Feb. 9, 2022.

Screen Shot 2023-01-26 at 12.15.23 PM

Gov. Tim Walz proposes $3.3B for aging infrastructure

Walz's borrowing plan comes days after the release of his two-year state budget proposal.

Screen Shot 2023-01-26 at 8.43.35 AM

Children's Theatre Company actors lose belongings in damaging house fire

The fire broke out Tuesday morning shortly after the dryer had been started.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

Biden Admin. imposes 20-year mining ban near Boundary Waters

The moratorium is the maximum the Department of the Interior can implement without congressional approval.


Historic St. Paul building to be removed, put in storage after public outcry

The building was set to be demolished before community members spoke out against it.



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.

Tim Walz

Walz talks schools, sports, ramping up testing in Monday interview

Walz says molecular diagnostic testing could see a boost within days.

coronavirus, covid-19

MN health commissioner: Further restrictions 'very possible' as crisis looms

There are more than 1,500 people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota.


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

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

social distancing, coronavirus, covid-19

Walz readying 'more surgical' mitigation strategies as COVID-19 surges

It's unclear if bars and restaurants will face further restrictions.

state hockey tournament, mshsl

MSHSL board to discuss winter sports, football and volleyball playoffs

The board will meet Thursday with more hugely popular items on the agenda.