The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association has adopted a temporary indoor mask mandate for fall sports in hopes of mitigating the spread of coronavirus. It will impact at least two of the Silver Lake High sports programs this fall: girls’ volleyball and cheerleading. Those are the two MIAA teams that the Lakers have in the fall that have their competitions indoors.
The mask mandate will also apply to any of the other fall teams, if they were to have an indoor practice. However, none of the other teams in question have their competitions in indoor venues.
This mask mandate will apply to athletes regardless of their vaccination status and will be up and will last until at least October 1.
“These are minimum required safety standards that are consistent with the practice of indoor and outdoor recess and indoor and outdoor physical education classes during the school day,” MIAA executive director Bob Baldwin said in a statement issued on August 26. “These standards will be reviewed prior to October 1.”
This marks a change in policy from the previous fall sports season — which also took place during the coronavirus pandemic. That time around, athletes also had to wear masks outdoors. Now, masks are optional for coaches and athletes competing outdoors.
The decision came shortly after Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Jeffrey Riley was granted the authority to mandate masks in all public schools across the state by the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The coronavirus vaccine is available to anyone ages 12 and up in the United States.