State DPH requiring all athletes, coaches to wear masks at indoor sporting events | Connecticut News
(WFSB) – The state Department of Public Health is upgrading its guidance for local athletic events.
The announcement was made Wednesday evening.
Due to the number of coronavirus cases in the state, state health officials are now requiring that all athletes, coaches, and officials wear face coverings at indoor sporting events, regardless of their vaccination status.
Initially, the state Department of Public Health had recently made the decision to allow fully vaccinated athletes the option to not wear a mask during indoor sports competitions, but given the the Omicron variant and the uptick in COVID-19 cases, that guidance has changed.
For now, this mask requirement applies to those athletic competitions taking place indoors.
Athletes will be required to wear masks starting tomorrow.
But tonight, at a Newington High School basketball game athletes were already wearing masks.
Parents we spoke to tonight agree with the move.
Kelly Quick said, “I think it’s a good idea.”
Athletes across the state will now have to mask up.
The Connecticut Department of Health announced the change tonight saying quote:
“Although a previous assessment was made by DPH that would have allowed the choice for fully vaccinated participants to unmask during sports competitions, the rapid rise in covid-19 community case rates and the emergence of this more contagious variant has forced us to reconsider that assessment.
Parents like Quick say they know this could be tough for athletes.
“I can feel for them that they’re trying to play and wear the masks, but I think right now with the numbers the way they are I think it’s definitely a good call,” said Quick.
CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini said, “as we said since the onset, we would align with DPH guidance on the topic.”
Lungarini says the main goal for them is to keep kids playing, but also keep them safe.
“We’ve successfully been able to bring kids back to sport opportunities both last year and this year and everybody’s focus is to give kids opportunities and keep them active within our sports,” said Lungarini.
The upgraded guidelines aren’t just for athletes, but also coaches and officials.
“We will be masked in all sport activities including competition regardless of vaccination status except in those instances where wearing the mask is a safety risk,” Lungarini
Wrestling the CIAC says masks should not be worn in match or practice while “actively grappling”
Indoor track throwers and jumpers, swimmers, and gymnasts also do not have to wear masks while actively competing.
The CIAC Executive Director says he sent out an email to schools letting them know about the change tonight.
Copyright 2021 WFSB. All rights reserved.