Games News

New mask mandate will include indoor sports this fall, Ann Arbor Public Schools says

ANN ARBOR – Ann Arbor Public Schools’ new universal mask mandate will also impact athletic teams that compete indoors within the district, according to Andrew Cluley, AAPS Director of Communications.

On Friday, AAPS announced that all students, staff and visitors would be required to wear masks indoors for the 2021-2022 school year due to rising number of COVID-19 cases and recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The mask mandate will extend to indoor sports teams – volleyball and swimming and diving – within the district at Pioneer, Huron and Skyline high schools as well as opposing teams traveling to those schools, Cluley told MLive on Monday.

Volleyball players will be required to wear masks while competing, while swimming and diving athletes will have to wear masks when not in the pool and all spectators at indoor athletic events will also be required to wear masks.

Cluley said as of now, athletic teams involved in outdoor sports will not be affected by the new mandate.

“We’re still several weeks out from any competitions happening, so things might change,” Cluley said. “But as of right now, this is what we’re thinking.”

The new mask mandate is one of several the school district will impose in anticipation of opening schools fully for the fall and throughout the 2021-2022 school year, Superintendent Jeanice Swift said in Friday’s statement.

“A simple step – wearing our masks while indoors – provides another layer of protection to improve overall health and safety and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and community this fall,” Swift said.

“In maintaining our attention to two key strategies, vaccination and universal masking indoors, we can all feel more comfortable and confident that we are doing our part to keep our schools healthy and safe, particularly for those children under age 12 who are not yet able to receive vaccination.”