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PIAA: Athletes must wear masks, but not while "actively engaged" during summer workouts

The state high school sports governing body said it made masks mandatory after receiving guidance from the state's Departments of Education and Health.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The governing body of Pennsylvania high school sports announced Friday that all athletes participating in voluntary summer workouts must wear facemasks, as mandated by the latest COVID-19 mitigation order signed by Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association said it made the decision after receiving guidance from the state's Department of Education and Department of Health.

The policy applies to all athletes participating in voluntary summer workouts.

"Everyone must wear a face covering, such as a mask, unless they fall under an exception listed in Section 3 of the Order.  Coaches, athletes and spectators must wear face coverings unless they are outdoors and can consistently maintain social distancing of at least 6 fee"

"Athletes are not required to wear face coverings while actively engaged in workouts and competition that prevent the wearing of face coverings, but must wear face coverings when on the sidelines, in the dugout, etc. and anytime 6 feet of social distancing is not possible."

Schools must also make the mandatory mask policy part of the Health and Safety Plans they must submit to the Department of Education, or amend those plans to reflect the change if those plans have already been submitted, the PIAA said.

“We are tremendously appreciative of the Department of Health and the Department of Education for providing guidance and answers to the many frequently asked questions," said PIAA executive director Dr. Robert A. Lombardi. "This information will greatly assist PIAA member schools, their administration and staffs with the information needed to continue their voluntary, summer workout programs”. 

For more information from the Department of Health on face coverings (masks) use the following link: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Guidance/Universal‐Masking‐FAQ.aspx

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