New Pennsylvania mask mandate debuts tomorrow in NCAA, next week for NFL

USA TODAY Sports

Plenty of confusion has emerged in connection with new measures in Pennsylvania aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Any lingering confusion needs to be fully resolved before Thanksgiving night, when the Steelers host the Ravens.

The first major test case comes on Saturday at Heinz Field, when the Pitt Panthers host Virginia Tech.

At one point, Pitt interpreted the mask mandate to require players to actually wear face coverings during the game. As of Friday afternoon, the prevailing interpretation became that players will be given face coverings, but that they will not be required to wear them during the game itself.

“To provide further clarity, Pitt football student-athletes will be outfitted with face coverings throughout the game,” Pitt said in a statement, via ESPN.com. “However, they will not be required to have the coverings pulled up while in the midst of play to prevent the impairment of breathing. Such usage of face coverings during competition would be in compliance with Section 3 of the Secretary of Health’s Face Covering Order.”

The confusion came from a Tuesday order from the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, which provides that “coaches, athletes, and spectators must wear face coverings while actively engaged in workouts and competition as well as when on the sidelines, in the dugout etc. unless they meet an exception in the Face Covering Order.”

Section 3, as noted in the Pitt statement, “allows an individual to remove their mask if wearing a face covering would either cause a medical condition or exacerbate an existing one, including respiratory issues that impede breathing, a mental health condition or a disability.”

Apparently, it’s regarded as a universal medical truth that football players wearing face coverings while playing would “cause a medical condition.” But would it? Or would it simply impair performance without actually making the player sick?

It seems like the powers-that-be have applied a creative interpretation to the exception. It remains to be seen whether the authorities insist on compliance with the order and the exceptions as written, or whether the practical application will match an interpretation that conflicts with the literal language of the order.

It’s a situation that bears watching, given that Pennsylvania will host two NFL games within the next 10 days, both of which are due to be played in prime time. Week 12 concludes with the Eagles hosting the Seahawks.

15 responses to “New Pennsylvania mask mandate debuts tomorrow in NCAA, next week for NFL

  1. Mask worn during exertion for an extended period will cause increased carbon dioxide levels. Oxygen levels not significantly impaired.

  2. Not sure why nobody has simply required all players to wear shields on their helmets. Not as effective as masks but still way better than nothing and would actually help some during play. The part that never makes any sense is how during play guys are all over each other without any measures in place at all but then everybody flips out when they’re not masked on the sidelines, or in the locker room, or when they shake somebody’s hand who they were just tackling the moment before.

  3. I am sorry, this is nothing more than virtual signaling, you have to wear a mask at all times BUT when you are on the field? It makes absolutely ZERO sense and YES, trying to wear a mask during a football game would cause severe issues.

  4. It’s not about masks, it is about distance and sanitizing.

    You know why the numbers are up? Because people (wearing masks) go into Walmart, touch things that have been touched by 200 different people, leave the store and then use those hands to remove the mask, touching their face in the process. They then put that tarnished mask on again later in the day, giving COVID another shot at getting to your nose and mouth. They then touch things touched by 100 people in another store and repeat the process.

    We see this in sports too. Managers wear a mask, but take it off to say something to the pitcher, slap the pitcher’s ass, and then put the mask back on.

    We don’t need a mask mandate, we need a clean your hands before touching your mask mandate.

  5. They can send people to the moon in a rocket ship, but they cannot figure out how to make a mask 99.999999% breathable and full proof against unwanted particles? It is 2020, not 1720 correct?

  6. The answer is move the game to a neutral site in another state. There is no advantage or disadvantage other than travel with no fans in attendance, so work to find a site that both teams are happy with and move the game

  7. This policy is nonsense. It’s almost as if whoever decided this is lacking oxygen to their brain. Coincidentally…

  8. I do 60 minutes of cardio at about 125 BPM seven days a week. My gym requires masks at all times. I have no issues breathing. I also wear a mask all day and talk. Why do coaches and refs find it necessary to pull their masks off every time they talk?

  9. Keanu says:
    November 21, 2020 at 7:19 am
    I do 60 minutes of cardio at about 125 BPM seven days a week. My gym requires masks at all times. I have no issues breathing. I also wear a mask all day and talk. Why do coaches and refs find it necessary to pull their masks off every time they talk?

    ——————————————

    Are you trying to talk to people who are 40 yards away?

  10. Glad the Bears are watching it.
    Ever try inhaling rain through a cheap Chinese mask?
    Can’t wait to see the league geniuses figure out a defrost system to melt ice buildup on outdoor masks.

  11. cumhyy57 says:
    November 21, 2020 at 12:20 pm
    @pmlang

    *******

    Wrong Jason Peters and lane Johnson played in more snaps
    per game with wentz than foles also golden tate played in only 38% or less of the snaps with Foles Tate played in at least 60% or more of the snaps per game with wentz

    —————————————

    No one said more snaps. He said the entire offensive line played every snap in every game. Which is incorrect. So I am, in fact, correct.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.