MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Friday, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) issued new guidance for youth sports returning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MDH says youth sports games and scrimmages can resume June 24 or later for outdoor sports, and July 1 or later for indoor sports. The guidance seeks to minimize COVID-19 transmission while allowing young people to engage in important physical and social activity.

Teams are also allowed to return to competition by following the MDH’s guidance — which is outlined in COVID-19 Sports Guidance for Youth and Adults.

“While several key metrics show COVID-19 transmission is slowing, we are still in the middle of a pandemic. Learning to live with COVID-19 means finding ways to balance risks and benefits, and that’s what we are seeking to do with this guidance,” Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said.

The new guidance asks coaches, staff and spectators to practice social distancing and to wear a face mask at all times. Players are asked to wear a face mask when possible. Also, all adults and children involved in the activities should wash or sanitize their hands often, and keep them away from their faces.

Additional precautions include:

  • Avoid sharing personal water bottles, community snacks or towels.
  • Encourage use of dedicated personal equipment.
  • Find new ways to show sportsmanship – tip your hats instead of handshakes.
  • Ensure policies are considerate of staff, volunteers and participants at highest risk of complications from COVID-19.
  • Social distancing of six feet when players are not playing and during player drop off/ pick up.
  • Friends and family should not attend practices.
  • Maintain health checks and screening of participants and staff/volunteers.
  • More information is also available on the MDH website.
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