MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota State High School League board is asking state health officials to allow spring sports athletes to compete outdoors without wearing masks.

The recommendation by the league's sports medicine advisory committee applies only to actual competition. Athletes would be required to wear masks during breaks such as before and after races and while sitting in the dugout or standing on the sidelines.

The request comes as Minnesota has climbed to fifth in the country for new COVID-19 cases per capita in the last two weeks.

State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says that while the risk for the virus is lower outside, ``it's not zero.'' She also warns of the recent threat of COVID variants that are more easily transmitted.

The 25 Best Places to Live in Minnesota

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Minnesota using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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