Update to story: The Washington Post now reports that Pennsylvania backtracked from the mandate that players in this game and others wear masks. The original story is below:
The COVID-19 madness has reached another level, but a couple of college football teams are rolling with it as best they can so they can squeeze in another game.
As a result of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issuing a new order for face coverings this week, players from Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech will have to wear masks on the field.for their game Saturday.
You read that right — players will have to wear masks. During the game. On the field. While playing.
We’re used to seeing coaches sporting masks on the sidelines, but this is a first. Then again, so is Wolf’s order.
The governor is demanding everyone in the state wear masks, inside and outside, if they can’t maintain social distancing. That extends to athletes who cannot “maintain sustained physical distance from persons outside of their household. This includes while actively engaged in workouts, competition, and on the sidelines, in the dugout, etc. If sustained six-foot distancing can be maintained, face coverings may be removed when outdoors.”
In other words, you may be OK if you’re playing tennis. Or badminton. But certainly not football.
It should be noted that Penn State also has a home game this weekend, as do the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.
But the Nittany Lions are “exempt,” or so they say, because of Big Ten testing protocols. Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh are members of the ACC.
A lot of football games have been played this season, including many inside of Pennsylvania borders. There has been almost no evidence of on-field transmission, as explained by those who spoke to Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated.
But once again, it appears the college kids have to suffer because of decisions made by adults that have very little science behind them.