Scott stands by mask-for-sports mandate despite conflicting CDC policy

Despite the Center for Disease Control stating that participants in high-intensity sports “may not be able to wear a mask if it causes difficulty breathing,” Gov. Phil Scott is standing by his decision to require masks for children during sporting events.

“We’ve been more restrictive on it in a number of areas from the CDC and will continue to do what we think is right for Vermont, but again we just thought this is the right approach,” he said Monday during a COVID-related briefing.

“We had decisions to make as to whether we should have sports at all. The first priority is getting kids back in school, getting back into some in-person instruction which we found is safe,” he said. “Secondary to that was sports; we felt that having this mask to prevent the spread because the spread of the virus can happen to kids as well as adults and we just thought this is the right approach.”

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HIGH INTENSITY – The Center for Disease Control says that masks probably should not be worn during “high-intensity sports” but Vermont continues to require that children do so.

Specifically, the CDC guidelines on sports and wearing masks state that with higher intensity sports, “people who are engaged in high intensity activities, like running, may not be able to wear a mask if it causes difficulty breathing.”

The World Health Organization also recommends less strict mask policies than what is currently in place in Vermont. They do not recommend masks under age 5, whereas Vermont currently is requiring kids as young as age 3 to wear them. Up to age 11, the WHO says it depends on how many local cases of the virus there are.

For Vermont, the rule from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development guidelines is that athletes must use “cloth face coverings must be worn by all players, coaches, officials, staff and spectators at all times when physical distance of six feet cannot be consistently maintained.”

Dan French, the secretary of education said at Monday’s press conference that soon there will be new guidance for winter sports. He indicated that the state may continue to be strict with masks.

“The issues of indoor activities are more significant relative to our health considerations so hopefully we’ll have some guidance out for winter sports here in October,” he said.

Children are not considered common spreaders of the virus. At least twice in the press conference it was mentioned that there is currently no evidence that kids are spreading the virus in Vermont. The first was by French.

“In spite of the few cases we have seen in schools, the conditions remain very positive,” he said. “The cases we have seen in schools were a result of the virus essentially being brought to school. To date, we have not seen transmission of the virus in schools.”

Later in the conference, Health Commissioner Mark Levine said the same thing.

“I’ve been talking about how we expect to see an increase in cases as schools reopen and as we spend more time indoors as the weather cools off,” he said. “The good news is that as of today two weeks in we have seen no COVID-19 transmission within K-to-12 schools. Among the current cases associated with the three schools, none of the people who tested positive got the virus due to being in school.”

The CDC director also says there is no data supporting that children drive the spread of coronavirus.

“We really don’t have evidence that children are driving the transmission cycle of this,” said CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield.

On the subject of when society can start to get back to their pre-COVID lives, Levine indicated currently there’s no target that would allow that to happen.

“The subtlety in the messaging is the lifestyle that we are becoming accustomed to today and all of the things we are doing today actually will continue on even when the vaccine arrives because it’s a two-pronged strategy. It’s doing all the things we can to suppress the virus with the way we live but it’s also having a vaccine increase the numbers of us who might have a form immunity to the virus.”

Levine continued to warn that if Vermonters that the threat of the virus persists even when it seems like it has subsided.

“I have one additional but important point for schools and families, it’s a reminder that people may have the virus and not yet know it,” he said. “You may not have any symptoms or you may have mild symptoms but not recognize them as possibly being COVID-19.”

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Public domain

14 thoughts on “Scott stands by mask-for-sports mandate despite conflicting CDC policy

  1. The CDC has been lying, Fache is tied in with Gates and our Governor has no one reading anything that disrupts the stupidity of this lock down scam. Remember how Vermont got gun control because the governor’s over protective stance involving a crime that didn’t happen and a teenager with a shotgun?

    We have all been taken for the fools we are. Two things control our lives now, a corrupt media and lying politicians who may be tied to large sums of money from a vaccine that may or may not work and probably isn’t needed according to the science in this article.

  2. “…by their words they shalt be condemned.” Scott, Levine, French, and the rest of the statist cabal have truly revealed themselves. Their policies have nothing to do with keeping people safe, but everything to do with maintaining control over the people. The mask is just a visible sign of that control. There was a time when this country was populated with patriots; free men who would stand up to tyranny and oppression, now alas, we witness a young mom being tased, manhandled, and carted away to jail – all for the “crime” of not wearing a mask outside while watching her son play a middle school football game in Ohio, and all the while the rest of her fellow citizens sitting on the same bleachers did absolutely nothing to intervene, they actually seemed to applaud when she was removed. How soon will this come to Vermont? If only they’d all stood up and removed their masks in a show of support, but instead they sat there all masked up, looked at the tops of their shoes, and bayed like nice little compliant sheep.

    It is now a crime to be sick, and the state is now responsible for our supposed health. Time to pray and make reparation for sins.

  3. I am NOT a runner. I have done it in the past and decided it was not for me. I have never seen a runner with a smile on their face. I want to see Scott run a 5 k with a mask on. I would gladly ride along side and offer encouragement.

  4. Stupendous idiocy. If the health commissioner were any more programmed, he’d be a computer.

    How is it that ordinary citizens are more informed than our “leadership”? Is Levine not aware of the studies, particularly the one in China with over 400 participants, that demonstrated no asymptomatic spread when participants were exposed to a known infected case? And how about that PCR test? Is the commissioner aware that previous outbreaks—MERS, SARS, Ebola, Zika—all required TWO positive tests to confirm diagnosis, due to the risk of false positives? Is he aware of the Aug 29 New York Times story that reported up to 90% false positives for PCR tests (contingent on the number of amplification cycles used), and that the CDC’s own data shows that no live virus is detected above 33 amplification cycles? (What IS the cycle threshold for Vermont’s Covid tests, Mr. Levine?)

    Is our leadership aware of the study that concluded that every 1% rise in unemployment in America corresponds to 37,000 “deaths of despair”? Do they care AT ALL of the collateral costs of their policies? How many people died because of delayed medical treatment during the lockdown—while UVM Medical lost over $1 million a day clearing beds for a Covid surge that never happened?

    The Covid threat has never been lower. The current death count is less than the 2018 flu season. Cases are meaningless, since the PCR test cannot detect viral load—or viruses at all—as its inventor, Nobel Laureate Dr. Kary Mullis, said for decades. It seems our leadership has tunnel vision and is ruled by ghosts and models rather than by hard data. God help those whose lives are being destroyed while bureaucrats dawdle. God help us all.

  5. “On the subject of when society can start to get back to their pre-COVID lives, Levine indicated currently there’s no target that would allow that to happen.”

    In other words, he will never relinquish control over our lives and the reason he gives is that there are a few cases of a mild virus. Why do the courts, legislature, and people of Vermont hand over control of their lives to this man and his feeble reasoning?

  6. No prob. What’s a little strep throat or bacterial infection ? He seriously lacks such common sense- among many other things

  7. So we can now have people sitting at bars indoors without a mask since they are eating and drinking, but kids outside have to wear them playing soccer… Okay…

  8. Emperor Scott has continually boasted about following “science” when making Covid-related decisions. The question remains then, “What science?” It appears the only “science” he is willing to follow is that which would prolong his lording it over Vermonters. Will this foolishness only end when some young athlete collapses during a practice or competition because he or she could breathe?

      • Mike, for the fourth time: Vermont flattened the curve at the beginning of May. The mask mandate went into effect in August. There is NO correlation. Read this twice.

    • Emperor Scott is not a proper name. I prefer King Phillip! The Peter Principal is alive and well practiced in Vermont government. Our leaders have been elevated to their level of incompetence. Then again, it’s hard to soar with eagles when you work with turkeys!

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