The new Mask Mandate created by Governor Beshear has many athletes and parents/ guardians wondering, "what does this mean for us and athletics?".
On July 9th, Governor Andy Beshear announced that he signed a statewide mask mandate to help curtail the rise in COVID-19 cases. The order officially went into effect on July 10th at 5pm. Governor Beshear stated that this mask mandate will last at least 30 days from the July 10th start date, but the end date may get pushed back depending on the positive case number trends.
What was included in the mandate:
Masks are required in all stores, and any other indoor or outdoor environment where social distancing (6 feet) can't be enforced.
Exceptions: children under 5, individuals with breathing problems that would be made worse by wearing a mask, when a person is in a room alone or when at home with family and all others who live with them.
Other exceptions include anyone actively eating or drinking, anyone with a disability that makes wearing a mask unsafe, anyone working out in a gym and practicing social distancing and anyone who is giving a speech to an audience at a safe distance.
Local health departments will be enforcing the mandate. Violators will be fined $50 for the first offense, $75 for the second offense and $100 per each following offense.
How effective is wearing a mask?
It has been well documented that the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a mask, practice proper hand hygiene and maintain 6 feet of distance between anyone who you don't live with. The below graphic shows how important it is for EVERYONE to wear a face mask, even if they are perfectly healthy.
Okay, so how does this apply to athletics?
Athletes are to continue to wear a mask upon entering and exiting practice. This means from the time they leave their cars and make it to their practice site and then from the time training ends until they get back into their cars.
Athletes will be required to wear masks in instances where they cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from another athlete during training.
Coaches and staff will continue to wear a mask at all times that they are within 6 feet of an athlete or each other.
As always, rules and regulations are subject to change with each meeting at the city, county and state level. These are the current recommendations specific to athletics en-light of the mandate and current phase of the return to sport process we are in.
Reminder on the proper way to wear a face mask:
The below graphic illustrates how important it is to make sure that your face mask properly covers your nose and your mouth, creating a seal. Proper face mask use , and fit, is VITAL to protect yourself and those you come into contact with!