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Keeping kids active and safe in the summer of COVID-19

Kids are back at camp at the Eagan YMCA, but things look pretty different this year.

EAGAN, Minn. — As COVID-19 restrictions are eased and more parents head back to work, they may be looking for ways to keep kids busy throughout the summer.

One way is through youth sports, some of which have started up again in recent weeks.

At first glance, it may seem like soccer as usual for the first through sixth graders honing their skills at the Eagan YMCA.

“Kids are having a great time. Today’s day two of summer camps,” said Greg Waibel, YMCA’s Chief Operating Officer.

But it's only skills and drills that are allowed for now.

“So this summer sports camps do look different, but there’s lots of value from doing sport and figuring out how to do this creatively,” Waibel said.

Back on June 10, games and competitions considered 'low risk' were allowed to begin. The Minnesota Department of Health says running, biking and golf are examples of low risk activities.

RELATED: Cobbling together child care for the summer

Soccer falls under the 'medium risk category' for contracting COVID-19, which explains the focus on skills and not games, at least for now.

“They’re having fun, but they’re not playing a competitive game,” Waibel said.

The health department says no more than 25 coaches and players can gather together outdoors, no more than 10 indoors, and that those groups, or pods, should stay consistent.

At the YMCA that number is 10. Kids are staying apart and keeping their own equipment and coaches are encouraged to wear masks.

According to the Y, this is how things will be, until they say guidance lets up. Right now, they have about three quarters of the kids they had in camps last year.

For a full list of summer activities, visit the Eagan YMCA's website.

RELATED: Parents seek guidance on safe play this summer, here's what doctors recommend

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