How do the New COVID-19 Rules Affect High Schoolers?

Recently, Governor Roy Cooper lifted the outdoor mask mandate.  Masks will still be required indoors but no longer in outdoor settings where social distancing is possible.  So: how does this new policy affect those of us in high school? Let’s talk about it.

Prior to May 1st, the date when this new change was enforced, high school athletes were expected to wear masks while practicing, as well as playing, their sports.  Although a necessary precaution, with warmer weather drawing closer, a mask while exercising was not ideal.  While it was tolerable, wearing a mask while running in 80-degree weather didn’t make sports as enjoyable as they were before the virus.  Many athletes are excited to be able to breathe the fresh air while they participate in their sport.  Hopefully, this new mandate can safely remain in effect for the entirety of summer weather.  However this new mandate may affect you, remember that it is always your decision whether or not you feel comfortable without a mask.  It is always better to be safe than sorry, so do not succumb to the pressure of going mask-less if you do not want to do so.  

While the indoor mask mandate is still in effect, this new protocol is extremely encouraging.  Negative trends in numbers as well as increasing vaccinations have made this possible.  Hopefully, these downward trends continue so that we can be back to normal sooner rather than later.  Remember, vaccinations are available to the entire public (ages 16+) and within a matter of days, for ages 12-15; the more of us who receive vaccines, the closer we get to attaining the “two-thirds goal” reality!   

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