Battle for masks in youth activities resurfaces as schools and local governments reinstate mask mandates

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This week, Let Them Play Minnesota, along with 35 other Minnesota parent groups, sent a letter to Governor Tim Walz and President Joe Biden rejecting “lockdowns and forced masking,” whether in schools or by doing Sport.

“Thirty thousand families right now said, ‘We just had it, we have to unmask our kids if we’re going to do this,'” Gillman said.

Even if a school district does not impose a mask policy, some counties and cities do, such as Minnetonka.

“When we reviewed the CDC’s recommendations, we again looked at our facilities and their impact not only on our employees, but also on visitors,” said Andrew Wittenborg, Minnetonka’s director of communications.

The city’s mandate means that all staff and visitors must wear masks in city buildings. This includes rinks, which means all players and spectators would be required to wear a mask when watching or playing.

“There are a lot of parents reaching out and a lot of hockey tournaments starting and going where people are just amazed that it’s happening again,” Gillman said. “I would look for options. I would speak with my hockey association.”

The Braemar Arena in Edina is also run by the city. According to its website, it hosts more than 5,000 visitors a year and more than 20 tournaments, but its mask policy only affects city workers, not skaters or spectators.

Minnetonka acknowledges the division on this issue, but says its decision was made solely on health and safety.

“We never really considered the economic impact. It was public health recommendations, safety recommendations,” Wittenborg said.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS contacted the Minnetonka Hockey Association and the Minnetonka Figure Skating Club – two groups that use the arenas – but did not hear back.

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