Created: January 20, 2021 06:33 AM
A group of parents, coaches and athletes are suing in hopes of temporarily blocking COVID-19 restrictions on youth sports.
Let Them Play MN filed a motion in federal court on Tuesday, particularly seeking to block Gov. Tim Walz's mask mandate and any further restrictions on youth athletes. The lawsuit claims the mandate is biased because it does not apply to college or professional sports and that there is evidence that masks could actually be harmful to athletes' health while they're playing.
Those cited health risks include reduced visibility that could lead to an increase in injury and a physician's claim that masks could hinder respiratory function.
Dr. Robyn Knutson Bueling, a family medicine expert, previously told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS there is no evidence that masks reduce aerobic performance, but they could reduce someone's perception of shortness of breath. However, Bueling did back up the claim that masks could reduce athletes' field of vision.
The lawsuit also claims the Minnesota Department of Health and the Walz administration were inconsistent in defining COVID-19 outbreaks in different settings and that the outbreaks among youth sports were less severe than in other areas and did not warrant a shutdown.
Judges have ruled against a prior lawsuit by the same group challenging Minnesota's pause on youth sports that ended recently.
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