Some athletes in Wake and Johnston counties are ditching the mask during competition

Wake County News

ROLESVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — High school athletes in Wake and Johnston Counties no longer have to wear masks during outdoor games.

“Athletes now on the field, do not have to wear masks as long as they’re playing outside,” said Tom Kinkelaar, Rolesville High School Athletic Director.

Governor Cooper lifted the state’s outdoor mask mandate Friday at 5 p.m. Doing so also gives school districts the option to allow high school athletes to compete without masks while outside. Both the Wake County Public School and Johnston County Public School systems opted to follow that guidance.

Kinkelaar tells CBS 17 it’s a huge relief for his players who are gearing up for a big game against Wake Forest.

“You can imagine with the breathing and the heat and so forth that a situation like that was difficult for the kids at first,” he said. “But I think like anything, they adapted and got used to it.”

Spectators watching high school games in Wake and Johnston counties no longer have to wear masks either. They’re encouraged to wear masks when they can’t social distance, but not required.

“I’m excited, I’m excited,” said Holly Cooper, who got tickets to the Cleveland vs. Clayton game. “It’ll be nice to be able to breathe.”

Under current restrictions, high school’s can have 50% capacity in the stands.

“I understand that they’re keeping people so many feet apart or whatnot, so I’m not concerned about it. And with this breeze blowing, I think it’ll be wonderful tonight.”

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