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COVID-19 Update: April 22, 2021 [Face Covering & Testing Updates]

Today, the Minnesota Department of Health released updated guidance for youth sports. The most up to date copy of the guidance is linked here:

COVID-19 Organized Sports Practice and Games Guidance for Youth and Adults

We would like to bring your attention to two key updates included in the guidance: face covering guidelines for outdoor sports and testing. Everything else remains substantially the same as far as face coverings for spectators, physical distancing and quarantine requirements. Please read through the document for details.

Face Covering Guidelines

Players are no longer required to wear a face covering while actively practicing or playing outdoors. Players are required to wear face coverings when they are not actively practicing or playing and cannot maintain physical distancing. Meaning that players should continue to wear face coverings while in close proximity to others, on the bench, coming to and from games, etc.

This loosening of the face covering requirement comes with a strong recommendation from MDH to conduct weekly testing. If weekly testing cannot be achieved, MDH recommends that players continue to wear face coverings at all times (including while actively practicing or playing).

Testing

Effective Monday, April 26, 2021, Minnesota is offering organized sports teams additional testing support and options to order and provide weekly COVID-19 testing to all participants. The Minnesota Department of Health encourages all participants (including athletes, coaches, referees, volunteers, etc.) on a team to participate in weekly testing.

COVID-19 Testing for Minnesota Organized Sports Participants

MDH explained that this testing requirement is part of a larger initiative to curb the spread of COVID-19 in middle and high school aged children. Testing resources are being made available to schools and sports programming across the state and we encourage you to take advantage of these resources. If players are being tested by their schools, that can count towards their recommended weekly testing and there would be no need for a club to also administer tests.

Questions?

While we are happy to be able to lift the mask mandate for outdoor soccer, we recognize that the recommended testing presents a new challenge to clubs and we want to be a resource to help you navigate the logistics. We anticipate more guidance from MDH regarding this new testing initiative and will keep you updated. If you have questions, please send them our way and we can find answers.

We will continue to post COVID-19 updates to our website here: https://www.mnyouthsoccer.org/covid-19