The Minnesota Department of Health announced Monday that it has identified an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota related to a youth wrestling tournament in South Dakota.

The health department said 64 teams from at least 52 Minnesota counties participated in the tournament, including teams from St. Cloud County, including Stearns, Benton, Sherburn, Wright and Morrison counties.

As of Monday, Morrison and Wright counties have confirmed COVID-19 cases related to the tournament.

The state championship in Northern Wrestling for youth wrestling 2021 was held on March 31-April 3 at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls. The event was for wrestling teams for youth clubs in Minnesota and included about 2,000 wrestlers in addition to the spectators.

Health officials also asked anyone who attended the tournament to be tested immediately for COVID-19 and to monitor for symptoms.

As of Monday morning, the Minnesota Department of Health has linked 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the event.

The fight carries a high risk of transmitting the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the health department. Given the reported lack of mitigation, such as camouflage and social distancing, among tournament participants and spectators, health officials warn that there is an increased risk of COVID-19 from the event.

“We know that Minnesota is desperate to get back to the things we all love,” Dr. Ruth Linfield, state epidemiologist and medical director, told MDH. “However, COVID-19 is spreading in Minnesota at high speed. We ask Minnesotans to be patient and continue to use prevention measures and not to gather in large groups of people, especially indoors, and to continue to wear masks at physical distances. For those who qualify, we need people to get vaccinated; vaccination is how we will overcome this pandemic. “

Nine counties have confirmed cases related to this event: Cass, LeSueur, Lyon, Morrison, Murray, Rice, Todd, Wright and Yellow Medicine. According to the health department, eight schools have confirmed cases related to the event.

More than 60 teams from at least 52 Minnesota counties participated in the tournament. The counties are Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Clay, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Freeborn, Goodhue, Hennepin, Houston, Kandiyohi, Le Sueur , Lyon, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Nicollet, Nobles, Olmstead, Pennington, Pipestone, Pope, Ramsey, Redwood, Rice, Rock, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Swift, Todd, Wabasha, Wadena, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Wright and Yellow Medicine.

The MDH and the Minnesota Department of Education have warned state schools to monitor for potential cases and to double masking, social distancing and other prevention measures, the health department said in a statement.

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