Virginia Tech, Pitt players required to wear masks on field originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
With the recent spike in coronavirus cases across the country, Virginia Tech and the University of Pittsburgh will be the first two college football programs to require players to wear face coverings in the field of play, according to ESPN. In addition, all members of the two teams will have to wear them on the sideline.
In a statement issued Friday afternoon, Pitt said "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."
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued a new order for face coverings this week that went into effect on Nov. 17. The order states that "coaches, athletes, and spectators must wear face coverings while actively engaged in workouts and competition as well as when on the sidelines, in the dugout etc. unless they meet an exception in the Face Covering Order. Section 3 of the Order provides an exception that allows an individual to remove their mask if 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.”
Pitt plans to follow the practice set in place by the governors new order. Although Penn State, who hosts Iowa this week, believes they're exempt from this order stating "the Governor's new orders include limited exceptions for competition to be played without face coverings in the context of rigorous and stringent University and Big Ten testing, health and safety protocols”.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles both play on the road this week, but will be back at their respective home stadiums in the next 10 days. According to Steelers spokesman, Burt Lauten, the team received guidance from the governor’s office saying that “our players are exempt from wearing masks during an NFL game.”