Loosened activity restrictions

Cole Earles, Writer

The Owatonna High School has been back together for roughly a month, classrooms are packed and a mandatory three foot distancing is in place. Students are required to wear masks in the classroom as well as during their spring activities. They are advised not to eat in the class and asked to take drinks in the hallways to limit the amount of time the mask is off the face.

Thursday, April 22 was the opening night for OHS’s spring play . For each show due to the pandemic there is a limit to 294 audience attendees, the audience will be seated by theater staff to follow MDH regulations.  Remaining showtimes are Saturday, April 24 at 1:30p.m. and 7 p.m., or Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are still available until the audience limit has been reached.

As restrictions are loosening up and vaccines are being administered, students are starting to live more of a normal life, visiting friends and joining their families for holidays. Senior Lincoln Maher said, “Many people, along with myself, are starting to get fed up with covid restrictions, and living in a pandemic lifestyle.” Maher hopes next year’s seniors will be able to experience more of a normal school year.

All of Owatonna High School’s guidelines come from the Minnesota Department of Health. Everyone is doing their part to try to stay in school and compete in spring time activities. Owatonna High School’s positive cases have been down compared to other communities, allowing for more audience at activities. Athletic Director Marc Achterkirch said, “Unlike in the fall where there was a small limited amount of audiences we can fill the stadium up with around 900 visitors now, allowing for our graduation ceremony to be held there.” Athletes are still feeling the effect of performing in their activities while wearing a mask. Sophomore Dezmond Nickles said, “Wearing a mask absolutely affects my athletic ability, I am exhausted faster and it takes a longer amount of time to recover from my workouts.” It is still required by the MDH to wear a mask while in competition or practice, with the exception of individual outdoor sports where a safe distance can be kept.

The Minnesota State High School League had a board meeting and anonymously voted with their medical advisory board to ask the Minnesota Public Health Department to allow athletes to compete without masks, the decision has been approved.