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November 20, 2020 COVID-19 Update

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Updated COVID Protocols

On November 17th, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Levine updated the universal masking order.  The order now states that masks are required “outdoors with others who are not members of a person’s household and unable to maintain sustained physical distance.”

What does this mean for soccer in Eastern Pennsylvania?  All players, referees and assistant referees must wear masks while participating in all games and practices.  This order is effective immediately.

Coaches and bench personnel are required to continue to wear masks, which was already in effect since the summer.

As a reminder, gaiters, neck warmers, plastic shields or other personal protective equipment could be considered dangerous and should not be worn by players as per previously issued FIFA guidelines.

During the pre-game, referees should discuss compliance with the head coach for each team.  Remind them that they are responsible to ensure that all players, substitutes, coaches, bench personnel and spectators for their team are wearing masks.  If someone does not have one on, referees should go over to the touchline to inform the head coach and he/she will need to ask that person to put their mask on or leave.

Additionally, the Secretary of Health issued an order requiring anyone who visits from another state to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering the state.  If someone cannot get a test or chooses not to, they must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Pennsylvania.

EPSARC is recommending that referees not travel out of state to work matches and that assignors only use referees who live in Pennsylvania.

Surrounding states have issued various orders as well.  They range from recommendations of non-essential travel to prohibiting travel altogether; prohibiting out of state teams and limiting play to within state borders only.

You can also read the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer (EPYSA) press release addressing the new restrictions here.

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