Get Answers: How Holyoke’s Mask Mandate Impacts Some Outdoor Sports | New
HOLYOKE, MA (WWGB / WSHM) – A new indoor mask mandate is now in place in the town of Holyoke. The decree also applies to certain outdoor sports, both on and off the field.
As fall sports are in full swing, Western Mass News is getting answers on what players and spectators can expect.
The change comes as COVID-19 cases in Holyoke are now the third-largest in Hampden County. Last week cases exceeded 100.
We spoke to a parks and recreation manager, who said this was the right call as many try to be safe in outdoor activities.
A new mask warrant is underway in Holyoke.
As of Wednesday, the interior policy applies to businesses such as restaurants, gyms, shops and places of worship.
Masks will also be mandatory outdoors for certain sports. This means players on the sidelines will need to wear face coverings when seated or standing near each other, including in dugout benches and common seating areas.
“But while they are playing, they can, with the field, not wear a mask,” said Maureen Tisdell, deputy director of the parks and recreation department.
This applies to moderate and high risk outdoor contact team sports including, but not limited to baseball, softball, soccer, track and field, and football.
This new ordinance will also apply to people who attend matches.
“They would like spectators to be socially distant, 6 feet apart, wearing masks, on the opposite side of the players,” Tisdell said.
Tisdell, deputy director of the city’s parks and recreation department, told Western Mass News that at the moment there are fall sports for young people taking place, including baseball, soccer and field hockey.
She said they will remind people of the new policy on game day.
“We will just monitor the spectators on the field and the players just to make sure they are following the guidelines set out by the Board of Health,” Tisdell said.
Under the new mandate, there is a fine of $ 300 if you do not comply.
We asked Tisdell if authorities would patrol the fields.
“No, we won’t have anyone to control the games… We just hope the community knows what is expected of them and that they follow the updated mask mandate policies,” Tisdell said.
The mask mandate is in place until December 1, before the start of the winter sports season.
“They’re just trying to get through the fall season and see what happens in terms of the winter season,” Tisdell said.
We have also contacted the Holyoke School District on how they will implement the new mandate.
a spokesperson tells us in part quote …
“We have informed all coaches, officials and opponents of these rules. We have also posted signs at events reminding people to wear their masks and we are making announcements at games to remind everyone. We hope our viewers will comply to help keep our community safe and healthy.
They said anyone wanting more information on the regulations can contact the mayor’s office.