Outdoor Sports

High school sports, marching bands can can start fall season maskless

The Ohio High School Athletic Association isn't issuing any COVID-19 mandates for fall sports, but it is encouraging masks and vaccines for coaches and student-athletes.

High school athletes and marching bands are taking the field across central Ohio as the fall sports season begins — and many are leaving their masks behind.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has encouraged athletes to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying it’s the “ticket” to allowing athletes to live up to their dreams and compete.

The state is allowing individual school districts to decide what COVID-19 protocols to put in place when it comes to sports and extracurricular activities, such as band, as concerns about the virus pick up again.

As cases continue to rise throughout Ohio due to the highly contagious delta variant, Franklin County and five other counties in central Ohio have jumped to the second-highest level on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 transmission map.

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