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Hockey tournament takes ugly turn

Late Thursday afternoon, the Western UP Health Department’s Kate Beer sent out an press release stating that a recent youth hockey tournament at the Calumet Colosseum was being deemed, through contract tracing, to be a possible COVID-19 super-spreader event, according to the Marquette County Heath Department.

The Daily Mining Gazette Editorial Board cannot express, in any uncertain terms, the need to everyone involved in youth sports, from the coaches and parents, to the players themselves, need to adhere to the guildlines set forth by health departments across the state.

The DMG, like the WUPHD, has taken pride in seeing the number of COVID-19 cases across the U.P. fall into decline. A large contributor to this is the arrival of the vaccines.

However, just because the numbers are dropping, it does not mean we can just go ahead and run to Walmart withhout a mask on. Our managing editor wrote a column on Feb. 18 reminding coaches and parents to follow the guidelines and wear masks.

His words continue to ring true. If the tournament in Calumet is a super-spreader event, that means multiple people chose to ignore the guildance the state has put in place to keep people safe.

As we have learned this week, former state health director Robert Gordon stepped down from the MDHHS due to a conflict of opinions with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The issue? He wanted stronger guildelines. Why did he want them? Both of his parents had contracted COVID-19. His father passed away last weekend.

COVID-19 is still deadly. It is far past time we as a community realize that and work with each other, protecting each other. That is why the mask mandates exist in the first place. Not just to help keep you safe, but to keep everyone around you protected as well.

It is not too much to ask to attend your child’s sporting event wearing a mask. It is not too much to ask that you conduct your weekly or weekday shopping wearing a mask.

We all need to chip in to get through this.

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