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Update on Masks – Out of Season Activities

Written by: on Friday, July 3rd, 2020. Follow David Mika on Twitter.

 

This afternoon the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) authored some FAQ’s for the recent wearing a face covering (mask) order signed by Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. This action has created a number of questions for schools and their out of season voluntary workout programs.

PIAA Executive Director, Dr. Robert A. Lombardi stated, “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. This information will greatly assist PIAA member schools, their administration and staffs with the information needed to continue their voluntary, summer workout programs”.

The most requested questions recently are the following:

Does the Order apply to athletes and sports activities?

Yes. 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 feet. 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.

Do schools need to update/amend their Health and Safety Plans if they have already been submitted to PDE? Health and Safety Plans must reflect this Order. Understanding the volatility and uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus, plans should be flexible enough to contemplate any future change in conditions.

Do updated/revised Health and Safety Plans need to be re-approved by local school boards?

Yes. While the Order must be implemented immediately, plan approval, if necessary, should occur at the next board meeting.

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

Source: PIAA

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