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Duluth athletes react to district’s decision to continue sports

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DULUTH, MN -- Despite the current COVID case rate for Duluth area schools and the overall St. Louis County number rising slightly, however, from 28.5 to 29.8, school athletics and activities will remain open.

The Duluth School District discussed the possibility of pausing activities and athletics for students to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Superintendent John Magas consulted with state officials to review the numbers and discuss the next steps.

“We want to continue to provide these activities for students, with an eye always on safety,” said Superintendent Magas. “We’ll continue through next week and possibly beyond, and continue to track COVID local and county case rates as well as any outbreaks in our schools. We’re being careful and safe. And we’re also trying our best to safely allow for the athletics and activities that students really appreciate."

Duluth Athletes agree with the Superintendents' decision to allow sports to continue.

"I think it is the right decision because we've talked to all the athletes at Denfeld, like football, volleyball, and tennis, and no one has been tested since the flare-up in August," said Denfeld volleyball player Alli Ahlers.

Ahlers and her teammates are following CDC guidelines like keeping their distance and wearing masks to prevent the virus.

"We've been super careful with everything, like not letting many people in, and wearing masks all the time, so it hasn't flared up because of athletics."

Duluth East tennis standout Aili Hietala agrees, she says sports are beneficial for your mental and physical health.

"Because sports aren't just about exercise, they are about team bonding and making new friendships, so it would be super sad if sports got canceled for that reason," said Hietala.

Ahlers said she thinks sports should continue as long as they're safe and don't contribute to spreading the virus.

"If it really flares up because of the sport, so a lot of athletes are getting it, then I totally understand letting it die down and taking a break, but otherwise not if athletes aren't flaring up," said Ahlers.

Meteorologist Alex Libby

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