(CNN) – Youth sports may be one factor fueling the latest spread of COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says youth tournaments and extracurricular activities are creating clusters where coronavirus can spread among children.
“We’re working to facilitate increased testing that is happening on the ground in the context of youth sports,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC.
Health officials say as kids continue to play indoor sports like basketball, hockey and wrestling, it’s causing an increase in COVID-19 cases in some parts of the United States.
“We are seeing a higher proportion of younger people getting ill and unfortunately getting hospitalized,” said Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN medical analyst.
In Florida, the CDC reports the virus was linked to high school wrestling tournaments in December, where 38 people were infected.
And in Minnesota, officials said the COVID UK variant spread through one county where at least 68 cases were linked to youth sporting events.
“School sports, particularly team sports which people typically engage in close contact without masks, I think that is what’s explaining these surges of cases in young individuals,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
If you have kids in sports, the CDC recommends minimizing the time spent indoors and reducing the amount of time players spend in close contact with each other.