August 14, 2020 5:39:24 PM
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves issued an executive order Friday to limit attendance at K-12 extracurricular activities, including sporting events, through Aug. 31 to restrict the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Attendance will be limited to two people per participating student, with the exception of coaches, directors, teachers, officials, media and medical and other game staff.
Face coverings worn over the nose and mouth will be required of attendees at all times during indoor events. At outdoor events, face coverings must be worn in transit to and from one's seat, in restrooms, at concession stands and whenever it is not possible to stay at least six feet away from people not in one's household.
All employees, staff, workers and volunteers will be required to wear a face covering, the order states.
Every event will have a dedicated safety officer to enforce the terms of the order.
The Midsouth Association of Independent Schools has already started competition in girls soccer and softball, and some MAIS regular-season football games take place Friday evening. Area MAIS football teams -- Heritage Academy, Starkville Academy, Oak Hill Academy, Columbus Christian Academy and Hebron Christian School -- start play Aug. 21.
The Mississippi High School Activities Association permits two-quarter football scrimmages on Aug. 28 and Aug. 29 with regular-season play beginning Sept. 4 for Columbus, New Hope, Caledonia, West Lowndes, Starkville, West Point and Noxubee County high schools.
Volleyball and cross country competition for MHSAA schools can start Aug. 24.
Theo DeRosa reports on high school sports and Mississippi State softball for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @Theo_DeRosa.
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