School athletes must wear masks for indoor sports, state says

The state says student-athletes must wear masks while participating in indoor sports,...
The state says student-athletes must wear masks while participating in indoor sports, regardless of vaccination status.
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 9:20 AM EDT
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LATHAM, New York (WWNY) - The state Department of Health says student-athletes must wear masks for indoor sports or stay six feet apart.

That’s the word from Dr. Robert Zayas, president of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, the organization that coordinates high school sports in the state.

In a memo, Zayas outlines the Health Department’s response to his question about wearing masks for indoor sports.

Health officials stuck with the overall guidance for schools issued September 2 and said that athletes must wear masks indoors unless the sport is swimming. In that case, they must stay six feet apart.

The guidance applies whether the student is vaccinated or not.

In their response to Zayas, officials said that student-athletes can no longer remove their masks if they can’t tolerate wearing them.

“Unlike some prior guidance, CDC’s most recent masking guidance does not make an exception for school sports/activities where masking may not be ‘tolerable’ to a participant,” the state’s response said, “unless the participant has an ADA recognized disability.”

Zayas’ followers on Twitter are generally unhappy with the guidance.

“You are asking kids to play a high intensive sports while reducing their oxygen intake,” one wrote. “How is that safe? Please explain.”

Masks are not required for outdoor sports.

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