New MDH guidance allows students who play outdoor sports to do so without being masked, but they still must be masked when they’re not actively playing.
MAPLE LAKE, Minn. — It’s finally starting to look and feel like spring out in Irish country, if you ask those who were out at the Maple Lake High School track meet Thursday.
“I’m watching two of my grandsons compete in this relay,” said Julie Schumann.
It’s been a year of hurdles for high school athletes across the state, and the pandemic caused some setbacks for sports across all seasons.
“I missed it but I think the kids missed it the most,” said Schumann.
New guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health now allows students who play outdoor sports to do so without being masked, but they still must be wear masks when they’re not actively playing.
“As a parent this gives me hope for Minnesota,” said Dawn Gillman.
It comes after a lawsuit was filed against the state by the group Let Them Play Minnesota, an organization made up of parents and coaches who’ve been pushing for mask-less play since the pause on youth sports was lifted. They also had support from the Minnesota State High School League.
“We’re grateful that they’ve listened. We believe that the governor’s been playing politics with our kids versus just following the science,” said Gillman.
The change is a welcomed break for both parents and athletes.
“I mean, I think everybody’s kind of relaxed to be without them and the kids that want to wear them do wear them,” said Aleah Vetsch, an athlete at Dassel Cokato High School.
This all is now putting a favorite spring pastime back on track.
“I’m so happy that it happened,” said Schumann.
With these new guidelines, state leaders are recommending all middle and high school students get a COVID test every 2 weeks.