MDH identifies COVID outbreak from South Dakota wrestling tournament

The Minnesota Department of Health issued a COVID alert to Minnesota schools involved in a wrestling tournament held in South Dakota.

According to a release, an outbreak of COVID-19 cases has been linked to the Northland Youth Wrestling Association State 2021 Tournament in Sioux Falls two weeks ago.

The event was for a Minnesota youth club and included 2,000 wrestlers in addition to spectators.

Due to the close proximity and contact with opponents, wrestling carries a high risk of transmission, and a lack of COVID-19 mitigation among spectators was also reported.

“We know that Minnesotans desperately want to get back to doing the things we all love,” said Dr. Ruth Lynfield, state epidemiologist and medical director for MDH.

“However, COVID-19 is spreading across Minnesota at a high rate. We ask Minnesotans to please be patient and to continue to use prevention measures, and not to gather in large groups of people, particularly indoors, and please continue to wear masks and physically distance. For those who are eligible, we need folks to get vaccinated; vaccination is how we will overcome this pandemic.”

Nine counties have confirmed cases associated with this event, including Cass County, and at least one team from Beltrami County was also at the tournament.

Sixty-four teams from 52 Minnesota counties reportedly participated.

Schools are encouraged to double down on masking and mitigation efforts.

MDH  encourages tournament participants, families and spectators to get tested for COVID-19.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north-central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment, and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji and enjoys spending her spare time with her son Logan, daughter Brigid, and pets Vincent and Piper. She also loves reading, Star Trek, and gardening... badly.


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