The Pittsburgh Steelers have gained clarity of their mask situation the rest of the season. The state of Pennsylvania is granting the team an exemption to not wear masks on the field at their home games the rest of the year. Here’s the news from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero via Governor Tom Wolf’s new order.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's office issued new guidance regarding its mask mandate for sports, specifically saying that football players wearing masks during games "would likely create a medical issue” and thus they’re exempt. All clear for #Steelers, #Eagles games. pic.twitter.com/qhcZEm2S4Q
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 20, 2020
The exemption is granted due to the “medical issue” that may be created for athletes wearing masks while competing. According to Wolf’s report, “the CDC says that ‘wearing a mask with these types of protective equipment is not safe if it makes it hard to breathe.'”
There had previously been confusion over the las 24 hours if the Steelers would be exempt from the mask mandate. The team initially said they were but the Governor’s Office shot back and said they hadn’t made a decision. Now, it’s official. No masks required for players on the field. However, all other personnel; coaches and players on the sidelines, will be required to mask up.
Governor Wolf’s exemption also applies to college sports too. Pitt football won’t have to wear masks either after announcing earlier in the day they planned to follow the new mandate.
NEW: Pitt Football players will NOT have to wear their masks "while in the midst of play to prevent the impairment of breathing."
This ties in with Section 3 of the Secretary of Health’s Face Covering Order.
— Jenna Harner (@JennaHarner11) November 20, 2020
These mandates and restrictions have increased as COVID cases have spiked in Pennsylvania and Allegheny County, where the Steelers play. Earlier this week, the county issued a stay-at-home advisory, though the exact restrictions of it were unclear.
The Steelers and Eagles are on the road this week. Pittsburgh will host Baltimore on Thanksgiving while Philadelphia will be at home against Seattle on November 30th.