Local parents scramble to find face coverings for their student-athletes

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s expanded mask-wearing order requires face coverings to be worn during indoor and outdoor high school sports activities.

Some parents told Channel 11 they don’t mind the new requirements if it means the kids can still play competitive sports during a pandemic.

“I think they’re doing what they have to try to keep people safe and still let us go out and play,” said Brian Mack.

Other parents disagree, saying the order is too restrictive.

“It’s like, let me make my own decisions. I know how to stay safe. I will stay safe, I just don’t want to be dictated to. My kids are healthy,” said a woman who didn’t want to be identified.

Both parents were shopping for equipment at Pure Hockey in Cranberry Township.

Employees at the store said even before the updated order, they were having a tough time keeping masks and face shields in stock.


The Pennsylvania Department of Health lists exceptions to the mask requirement for student-athletes on its website:

Section 3: Exceptions to Covering Requirement

The following are exceptions to the face covering requirements in Section 2. All alternatives to wearing a face covering, including the use of a face shield, should be exhausted before an individual is excepted from this Order.

  • A. If wearing a face covering while working would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
  • B. 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.
  • C. When necessary to confirm the individual’s identity.
  • D. While obtaining a service that requires the temporary removal of the face covering, such as dental services.
  • E. When working alone and isolated from interaction with other people with little or no expectation of in-person interaction.
  • F. If an individual is communicating or seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired or has another disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.