The Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Department of Health answered some responses on Friday to frequently asked questions regarding the recent wearing a face covering, or mask, order signed

by Secretary of Health,

Dr. Rachel Levine, on Wednesday, July 1.

The directive has created a number of questions for schools and their out of season voluntary workout programs.

PIAA executive director, Dr. Robert Lombardi stated in a press release, “We are tremendously appreciative of the Department of Health and the Department of Education for providing us 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 were:

  • 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 outside and can consistently maintain social distancing of at least six 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 dugouts, etc. and anytime six 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 the 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, please visit: www.health.pa.gov

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