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."
Publish date:
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

vote, vote now

MN Supreme Court dismisses attempt to block election certification

Another legal defeat for Republicans challenging the election.

prison, Rush City cell block

Another Minnesota prison inmate dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The virus has killed at least six Minnesota inmates.

leech lake band of ojibwe sign

11,760 acres of land wrongly taken from Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will be returned

The Senate and now the House have passed a bill that effectively returns the land. It's now headed for the president's signature.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves release first half of 2020-21 regular season schedule

The second half of the schedule will be announced at a later date.

reindeer como zoo

Watch live: Como Zoo's live reindeer cam is back for December

The live feed will run 24/7 allowing you to keep an eye on Santa's antlered helpers.


Three simple ways to boost your immune health heading into winter

Eating right is one thing, but there are other ways to stay healthy as the days shorten.

Taylor Rogers

Why Twins fans shouldn't give up on Taylor Rogers

The Twins closer struggled in 2020 but could rebound next season.

Co. Rd. 2 crash, Wakefield Twp.

Teen driver leaves road, crashes into three trees

Fortunately, the 16-year-old was not injured.

mndot deer  tunnel 1

Minnesota is getting its first highway crossing for animals

This will provide a safe way for animals to cross the street, and hopefully limit deer-vehicle collisions.


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.

masks, students, college

State health leaders 'extremely concerned' about students spreading COVID-19

State leaders don't want infected students, both high school and college, spreading COVID-19 to more vulnerable people.

coronavirus, covid-19

MN leaders call national COVID-19 model 'overly optimistic'

A University of Washington model has gotten a lot of attention.

graduation, pandemic

Person with COVID-19 involved with MN graduation ceremony

A health official said the ceremony was conducted against health guidance.