Mass. Group Asks Gov. Baker To Ease Outdoor Mask Mandate For Youth Sports

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — While the spring sports season is well underway for Massachusetts students, a local advocacy group is calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to ease up when it comes to mask requirements.

The group Bring Kids Back MA has sent a letter to Gov. Baker asking him to end the mask mandate for kids playing sports outside --- saying that the science behind Covid-19 is on their side.

"We have grave concerns about the restrictions that continue to be imposed on children in MA, without data or evidence to support such protocols," the letter read. "For example, children are still required to wear masks outdoors during recess and youth sports, when the evidence confirms that outdoor transmission remains extremely low and updates to the statewide mask order reflect this knowledge."

The group also cited guidance from the World Health Organization, that said children should not wear a mask when playing sports or doing physical activities that exert energy, so that it doesn’t "compromise their breathing."

Group members are also criticizing state guidelines that say children cannot share things like books, toys and games in the classroom -- citing that "surface transmission is not a major route of spread for this virus."

When asked about the letter on Thursday, Gov. Baker said he had not seen it yet.

"But obviously we check out the stuff we get from folks pretty regularly, and we have made adjustments all the way through this program in both directions, up and down," Baker said. "Our doors open, we read what we get, we talk to people all the time, we have a medical advisory board that's been incredibly valuable to us."

As of early Friday, a petition supporting the removal of the outdoor youth sports mandate had received nearly 700 signatures.

WBZ's Jim MacKay (@JimMacKayOnAir) reports.

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Written by Rachel Armany

(Photo: Getty Images)

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