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Youth sports and other extracurriculars are spreading Covid-19, health officials say

April 6, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 60.7%. 2 min read.

The CDC recommends specific guidelines like reducing physical contact and minimizing time spent indoors when engaging in sporting activities.

(CNN)Children may be spreading Covid-19 through extracurricular activities like sports, health officials say.

After-school activities are creating clusters where coronavirus can spread among children, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We know that these increases are due, in part, to more highly transmissible variants, which we are very closely monitoring," Walensky said Monday at the White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing.

The virus was linked to high school wrestling tournaments in Florida last December where 38 people tested positive, according to a CDC report published in January.

In Minnesota, the B. 1. 1. 7 variant of SARS-CoV-2 spread through Carver County with at least 68 cases linked to youth sport activities including hockey, wrestling and basketball, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

The CDC recommends children limit youth sport participation and follow specific guidelines when engaging in those types of activities.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned about the spread of Covid-19 among children who participate in youth sports.

There may be a higher risk of Covid-19 transmission in informal settings like after-school activities and sports compared to formal settings because people may be more likely to let down their guard, said CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen. She recommends children play outdoors whenever possible and not share water bottles.

Parents should educate themselves on their sports league's protocols if a player tests positive, Wen said.

Wen said it's important to stay vigilant as Covid-19 variants evolve.

"With a more contagious variant, that means the activities we thought were safer are now going to be higher risk," Wen said.

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