News & Stories

Loppet Foundation COVID-19 Update

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Loppet Foundation has been closely following guidelines from local, state, and national health officials. In alignment with new messaging from the Minnesota Department of Health, on May 6, 2021, which is effective from May 7 – May 27, the Loppet’s COVID-19 protocols were updated. We will continue to update our policies as new information becomes available, and the new date when that occurs will be adjusted above. For your convenience, we have outlined below the specific Loppet areas which are affected.

The Loppet Foundation encourages all eligible individuals to get vaccinated against COVID-19. However, many of our participants are youth who at the moment are ineligible to be vaccinated, so it is important to note that all program participants will be supported with their level of comfort in regards to the implementation of the new guidelines.

Please do not come to Theodore Wirth Park or to any Loppet programs and events if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Loppet Sport/Adventures

Participants should continue not to share individual water bottles, community snacks, or personal equipment. Participants are expected to come to practice prepared with all the necessary equipment to participate.

Outdoor Practices:

Physical distancing of at least 6 feet is still recommended for participants and coaches whenever idle at outdoor practices (i.e. group meetings at the beginning or end of practices, when receiving instructions/feedback, during close-contact skills training, etc.). Face masks are recommended for participants in outdoor organized sports activities when social distancing cannot be maintained, but face masks will no longer be required for Loppet program participants. 

To maintain respect for all park users, athletes and their guardians must practice social distancing when waiting in front of The Trailhead building for practices to start. Masks are also strongly encouraged at this time.

Indoor Practices:

Physical distancing is required whenever possible indoors, and masks are required at all times when indoors – this includes inside The Trailhead building and the indoor workout studio space. Pod sizes cannot exceed 50 people during indoor sports practices, and the total number of athletes must comply with indoor venue guidance and capacity limits.

Social Gatherings:

Social gatherings held outside of practice time and facilitated by Loppet programs are still required by the state to follow the Stay Safe in Social Gatherings guidance


Traveling out of state or to different regions of the state to participate in sports activities is still strongly discouraged. However, if group travel occurs, all participants riding together in the same vehicle will be required to wear face masks.

COVID-19 Testing & Confirmed Cases:

According to the Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC, those participating in sports programs and activities (including athletes, coaches, volunteers, and other participants) are strongly recommended to test for COVID-19 weekly, especially those in K-12 schools if they are not wearing masks during practices.

People who test positive for COVID-19 are not allowed to return to team activities for 10 days from symptom onset. The Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC recommend a 14-day quarantine as the most protective option for people who have been exposed to COVID-19. Loppet coaches/program leaders must be notified as soon as possible by the program participant (or their guardian) if the participant has tested positive for COVID-19.

Loppet Events

Physical distancing of at least 6 feet is still recommended for participants and spectators whenever idle at outdoor events (i.e. start/finish areas). 

Face coverings are required for spectators in outdoor venues with 500 or more spectators in attendance. Face coverings are recommended for spectators in outdoor venues with less than 500 spectators in attendance. 

Specific Loppet events may have their own COVID-19 preparedness plans, outside of what is listed above. If those are available, they will be found on each event’s webpage approximately one week prior to the event.

Trails & Trailhead

Mill Valley Market: 

Mill Valley Market is open daily from 9am – 8pm from Sunday – Thursday, and 9am – 9pm on Friday and Saturday. Indoor and outdoor patio dining options are available. You may also choose to bring a blanket to further distance yourself on the grass.

The Trailhead:

The Trailhead building will be open to the public on June 1, but masks will still be required indoors. Restrooms will be available inside The Trailhead, and port-a-potties are located outside The Trailhead for those who are unmasked.


All Loppet trails will continue to be maintained and will be open based on conditions. Please check the Maps & Trail Conditions webpage before arriving.

Extra COVID-19 Resources

We hope to see you, from a socially appropriate distance, on the trails!

The Loppet Team