The Virginia High School League rescinded last week’s announcement that prep student-athletes were required to wear masks while participating in practices and games.
VHSL director of communications Mike McCall sent out a Monday press release stating that the organization incorrectly interpreted a new protocol by Virginia governor Ralph Northam. According to The Roanoke Times, there was confusion over whether Northam’s Requirement to Wear Face Coverings required athletes to cover their mouths and noses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“VHSL apologizes for any confusion created by its original release,” VHSL executive director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun said in Monday’s clarifying release. “We ask the public to understand that it is the first mission of VHSL to make sure that athletics are conducted in a safe and healthy environment, and it was that desire that motivated the original decision.”
After initially announcing last week that the VHSL would require masks, the league clarified Northam’s Executive Order 72 and rescinded the requirement. Now, the league is following Northam’s lead and “strongly encouraging” that face coverings be worn during training and competition to conform.
”Each school may continue to exercise its discretion and judgment as to safety steps within its athletics programs as it pertains to face coverings,” the release reads.