Syracuse, NY – The state Department of Health has clarified that athletes who cannot stand the wearing of masks will have to opt out this winter.
This is a major change from previous Covid guidelines, which said competitors who found the masks intolerable could take them off and continue playing.
This DOH ruling, which follows the latest CDC masking guidelines, only applies to indoor sports where masking is possible (i.e. not swimming). Outdoor athletes do not have to wear masks.
The DOH said masks would not be necessary if six-foot social distancing is possible, but since this is not feasible in winter sports such as hockey, basketball and wrestling, athletes must wear the masks or not compete.
Wednesday’s update came in response to a request from New York State Public High School executive director Robert Zayas about whether the “tolerable” standard still applies to athletes who participate in sports in Canada. room. The DOH’s explanation made it clear that the exception no longer exists, except in the case of a disability.
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