By Jack Gallop | April 29, 2021 at 11:11 AM EDT – Updated April 29 at 11:44 AM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Earlier this week, Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order that outlined revised safety measures. This included masks still being required indoors, but no longer mandated wearing masks outside.
Parents in North Carolina immediately called for student athletes to not be mandated to wear a mask while playing sports outside, citing difficulty breathing.
Their wish was granted, as the North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced in a tweet Thursday morning that masks for outdoor sports participants will be optional once Cooper’s new executive order goes into effect at 5p.m. Friday.
Beginning Friday at 5:00pm masks will now be optional for outdoor sports particpants, including officials actively participating in competition. All athletes & coaches not actively participating & who cannot socially distance should still wear a mask in the venue.
— NCHSAA (@NCHSAA) April 29, 2021
Athletes will however still be required to wear their mask when they are on the bench or not actively competing.
Dr. Mandy Cohen, the secretary for the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, told HighSchoolOT.com that those who are unvaccinated should still be cautious about wearing a mask, inside or outside, especially given the low amount of vaccinated young people.
“For all of our unvaccinated population, whether it’s children or adults, we continue to recommend that folks wear masks outdoors when they can’t be distant from other people,” Cohen said.
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