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Play on, safely

THUMBS UP: Local high school sports fans have a little more to cheer about this week, after the Minnesota State High School League approved a fall season for prep football and volleyball.

The league acted after receiving assurances that games can be held safely, without exposing players and fans to COVID-19 if the proper precautions and safety plans are followed.

Following protocols is essential for the safety of all. Martin County saw a spike in COVID-19 cases last week after people were exposed at a funeral where requirements for masks and social distancing were not followed.

The MSHSL is limiting fan attendance at football games, and keeping spectators out of volleyball games. That’s a blow to fans, but it is necessary to have a season at all.

COVID suspicion

THUMBS DOWN: It is disgusting that a door-to-door COVID-testing survey, organized by the Center for Disease Control had and the state to be halted this week after public health workers were harassed, intimidated, subjected to racial and ethnic slurs and even threatened as they tried to help people in rural Minnesota.

People often refer to rural Minnesota as “Greater” Minnesota, but there is nothing great about the reception the survey crews received.

Workers were visiting homes, offering free diagnostic testing for active COVID-19 and blood testing to identify prior infections. They have been met by insults, and one survey team near the town of Eitzen in southern Minnesota were blocked by two cars and threatened by three men.

We agree with Dr. Ruth Lynfield, state epidemiologist, who said, “There is no justification for this — the enemy is the virus and not the public health workers who are trying to help.”

Seifert tribute

THUMBS UP: The family of the late Dr. James and Jane Seifert have created a wonderful tribute to two of the city’s finest citizens. Dr. Seifert was a dentist practicing in New Ulm and served as mayor and as a city councilor. He and his wife worked on many civic committees.

The family has endowed a named fund for the New Ulm Area Foundation. Like the Macklin fund and the Anne Somsen fund, the grants from this fund will be given each year in their name. It is entirely fitting that the Seiferts will keep giving back to New Ulm through this fund.

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