The Morning Call
Pitt, Va. Tech players to wear masks on field
PITTSBURGH — Pitt and Virginia Tech players will wear face coverings both on the field and on the sidelines in Saturday’s game at Heinz Field.
Pitt officials Friday issued the following statement in regards to protocols for the Panthers’ final home game of the season.
“In alignment with the recent guidance from state officials regarding the current health climate, Pitt’s football team will be appropriately outfitted for Saturday’s game with face coverings to use on the field and sideline. This is being communicated to Virginia Tech’s sports medicine staff as well.”
Face shields on helmets, which many players wear already, will not suffice. The Panthers and Hokies will be “appropriately outfitted” with either masks or neck gaiters to be worn whether they’re on the field playing or not.
“Pitt’s medical personnel have been in touch with our medical team and advised us of the appropriate procedures for Saturday,” said Pete Moris, associate athletic director for strategic communications at Virginia Tech. “Wewill follow Pitt’s direction on appropriate measures.”
The news comes three days after Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine
released stricter mask requirements for state residents in attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19. One of the orders required that people wear masks outdoors when “unable to maintain sustained physical distance.”
According to an FAQ on the state health department’s website, the requirement ap
plies to athletes. But Section 3 of Levine’s order states that there’s an exemption for those that “wearing a face covering would either cause a medical condition, or exacerbate an existing one, including respiratory issues that impede breathing, a mental health condition or a disability.”