In his statewide address on Wednesday, Nov. 18, Gov. Tim Walz announced several restrictions for four weeks to combat the spread of COVID-19, including “pressing pause” on adult, high school and youth sports, effective Friday, Nov. 20.

The announcement means that not only will high school winter sports have a delayed start of a few weeks, but the football and volleyball seasons will essentially end Friday.

The changes come as the Minnesota Department of Health reports that the state has seen a 153% increase in coronavirus cases over the last two weeks - the third-highest increase in the nation.

“I understand it is not easy and it is not fair, but it is a sacrifice that we need to make,” Walz said in his address. “If we don’t do that and we continue to spread, we will, with absolute certainty, put our hospitals at risk and those that need the care as well as care providers.

The Pequot Lakes volleyball team is scheduled to host Little Falls and the Pine River-Backus volleyball team is scheduled to host Clearbrook-Gonvick on Thursday, Nov. 19, and the Tigers will travel to Aitkin the following night before the order takes effect.

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