New rules lift restrictions for outdoor sports, wrestlers

Benny Westcott

The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education relaxed rules regarding face covering requirements for outdoor/indoor school sports.

For outdoor sports, students, staff, volunteers, and spectators are not required to wear face coverings. Until additional updates are provided, all previous physical distancing and capacity restrictions still apply.

For indoor sports, fully vaccinated students, staff, volunteers, and spectators are not required to wear face coverings at indoor sports events, but only when vaccination status is checked by the school in a manner described by OHA in guidance.

Until additional updates are provided, all previous physical distancing and capacity restrictions still apply.

These provisions are optional for the venue operators. School districts, charter schools, and private schools may still choose to require face coverings at these events.

Despite the change in requirements, Swet Home Athletic Director Nate Tyler said that the school’s policy will still be “asking that everybody wears a mask inside.”

Regarding checking vaccination cards, he said, “from a school perspective, that’s a nightmare.”

“We can’t ask to see vaccination cards,” he said. “We can’t police who does and who doesn’t, so we’re sticking with spectators being required to wear masks.”

High school basketball players in Oregon are still required to wear masks when competing.

However, wrestlers are no longer required to wear a mask when they step on the mat to wrestle.

Commenting on the new wrestling guidelines, Tyler said, “I think the theory is that you do three two- minute rounds, which is only six minutes, so it’s not technically an exposure.”

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