The Ohio High School Athletic Association isn't issuing any COVID-19 mandates for fall sports, but it is encouraging masks and vaccines for coaches and student-athletes.

High school athletes and marching bands are taking the field across central Ohio as the fall sports season begins — and many are leaving their masks behind.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has encouraged athletes to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying it’s the “ticket” to allowing athletes to live up to their dreams and compete.

The state is allowing individual school districts to decide what COVID-19 protocols to put in place when it comes to

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3 things to know

  • Officials urging more youth testing; masks now optional for athletes while playing outdoors

  • About 53 percent of Minnesotans 16 and older have received at least one vaccine dose; 38 percent are completely vaccinated

  • Vaccine pace slips as supplies stall

Updated 12:09 p.m.

Minnesota officials want more testing of middle and high school students, saying they’re increasingly concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in younger people, particularly those playing youth sports.


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