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Mask requirements for high school athletes to come to an end: CIAC

These new mask protocols start on Feb. 28.

CHESHIRE, Conn. — The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) has updated its COVID protocols for high school athletics that affect the remainder of the winter season and into the spring season.

The CIAC will not require masks at any outdoor practices and competitions starting on Feb. 28. This decision comes after consulting with the organization's medical experts. As for indoor activities, masks will not be required for those participating in practices and competitions. Mask protocols issued at facilities and schools hosting events must be followed.

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Decisions on allowing spectators to attend CIAC sporting events would be made by the individual schools or school districts. As for state championship tournaments, CIAC will determine the spectator and fan attendance protocol.

The CIAC recommends student-athletes and coaches follow their school district's quarantine, isolation and contact policies in case someone tests positive for COVID. A student-athlete who has tested positive should not exercise during isolation, the CIAC advises.

“We have collected quite a bit of data on this; we reviewed it with our medical experts and even throughout the highest peaks of transmission of COVID in the state, those cases that traced back to CIAC sports and practices was less than 1% so we believe that we can provide a safe environment,” CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini said.

The CIAC is requesting that districts that continue with mask requirements consider allowing athletes to compete indoors without masks.

Spectators will still have to follow restrictions of the facility, even if athletes are allowed to take off the masks, according to Lungarini. 

Individuals who still wish to wear a mask can keep them on if they feel more comfortable. 

RELATED: Department of Public Health updates mask guidance for schools developing new mask policies

RELATED: Waterbury sticking with school mask mandate; New Haven likely to follow

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