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MHSAA clarifies Whitmer’s mask order for high school athletes

The Michigan High School Athletic Association released guidelines Thursday to clarify Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 180.

The governor’s order on Wednesday stated high school athletes “must either wear a facial covering or consistently maintain six feet of social distance.”

The MHSAA said face coverings are required in football, soccer and volleyball, including during on-field competition, on the sidelines and when six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained.

The MHSAA also said facial coverings must be worn, but student-athletes are not required to wear them while competing in cross country, golf and tennis. There is also no requirement for student-athletes to wear facial coverings while preparing to enter the water in swimming and diving, or during competition, but are required while on-deck or in the facility.

Facial coverings must also be worn by coaches, medical staff, game event staff, media members and spectators. “Broadcasters and public address announcers are an exception to the requirement, allowing broadcasters and announcers to remove the face covering while performing speaking duties, but should wear the face covering at all other times,” an MHSAA statement said.

Officials can wear facial coverings if desired, but is not a requirement. Officials also cannot enforce face covering requirements, the MHSAA said, as it’s a responsibility for school administrators.

The executive order has no guidelines for medical intolerance or medical waivers.

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