MDI’s Sophia Thurston slides in safely at home plate during the second inning of a high school softball game against Presque Isle on April 24 in Bar Harbor. The Trojans, who were scheduled to host Bucksport on Wednesday, will be on the road against Brewer, Old Town and George Stevens Academy in the coming days. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

MPA drops mask requirement for outdoor high school athletics

AUGUSTA — Those participating in or attending high school sporting events in the coming months will be able to breathe in just a little bit more of the springtime air.

The Maine Principals’ Association announced Wednesday an update to its policy regarding masks and face coverings during outdoor athletic competitions. Face coverings will no longer be required for athletes during practices and competition or for spectators who are able to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distancing.

The announcement comes one day after Governor Janet Mills announced the end of the state’s outdoor mask mandate. That mandate was lifted a matter of hours after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued revised public health recommendations for vaccinated (and even some unvaccinated) individuals in outdoor settings.

The MPA’s spring sports offerings consist of baseball, softball, track and field, tennis and lacrosse (not offered at any Hancock County schools). All five of those activities are held outdoors, though indoor practices are sometimes held in the event of inclement weather or poor field conditions.

Since November, masks have been required for athletes, coaches, spectators and others present at Maine high school athletic events. Athletes competed unmasked in the fall before the state revised its community sports guidelines to make mask policies during competitions consistent with those in classroom settings.

This story will be updated.


Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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