Pitt and Virginia Tech to Wear Face Masks During Game Due to Pennsylvania Mandate

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Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech players will all wear face masks during gameplay on Saturday in accordance with the state of Pennsylvania's new COVID-19 guidelines.

The Panthers released a statement on Friday confirming both teams are aware of the guidelines.

"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,” Pitt said in the statement.

According to ESPN, a Hokies official confirmed the program has been informed of the guidelines.

The Hokies and Panthers will be the first college football teams to wear face coverings while playing. It remains unclear how the policy will be enforced during the game.

This week, Pennsylvania secretary of health Dr. Rachel Levine announced the state's new efforts to control the spread of COVID-19. 

The new order states: "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.

"The Order indicates 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." 

Penn State released a statement saying it is exempt from the state order on face masks during competition due to "rigorous and stringent University and Big Ten" testing protocols.