Alaska School Activities Association walks back the mask mandates - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, March 8, 2021
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Alaska School Activities Association walks back the mask mandates

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After a disastrous public relations day for the Alaska School Activities Association, the governing group for youth sports has walked back its mask mandates for athletes.

Earlier, the school group that oversees sports had mandated masks for all athletes while they participate in exerting activities, even going so far as to say that competitive swimmers must don their mask as soon as their faces are not underwater, and issuing strict rules for volleyball players.

Today, the organization blamed the State Department of Health and Social Services for not giving it clear enough guidance, but at the same time softened its mandate:

“ASAA would like to notify Alaska school districts that the Department of Health and Social Services has clarified their recommendation regarding mask to match the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) language.

As a result, ASAA will no longer require masks to be worn while actively participating, but rather recommends a mask be worn ‘if feasible.’ ASAA’s other mask recommendations stay in place. For example: People sitting on the bench during games should wear a mask. Additionally, ASAA would like to remind the schools, students and families much research shows masks are an important measure in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, the wearing of mask even while vigorously engaged in an activity is allowed. ASAA will be working with the various sports official’s groups on how to manage this during competitions.

Among the CDC’s guidelines are the following statements:

 “to wear a mask if feasible, especially when it is difficult to stay less than 6 feet apart from other people or indoors, for example in close contact sports such as basketball.” •

 “People who are engaged in high intensity activities, like running, may not be able to wear a mask if it causes difficulty breathing. If unable to wear a mask, consider conducting the activity in a location with greater ventilation and air exchange (for instance, outdoors versus indoors) and where it is possible to maintain physical distance from others.”

ASAA’s mitigation recommendations for practices and competitions are aimed to reduce risks, however mitigation of all risk associated with activities is not possible. Schools are allowed the flexibility to tailor recommendations to their individual needs and circumstances. DHSS is available on request to consult with schools on their mitigation plans and to help schools and districts better clarify the risks associated to their athletes, staff and communities.

The State of Alaska also clarified its recommendations today, saying it is only trying to follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines. It has updated its recommendation page that strongly recommended athletes wear masks while engaged in high-exertion activities both indoors and out of doors.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • What a bunch of dufes. And now it’s the State’s fault that they are a bunch of clowns? Where’s Gary Matthews when you need him.

  • It’s always someone else’s fault! Own it ASAA!
    So this was never about Covid! It is and has been about tyranny and fear mongering.
    “ASAA would like to remind the schools, students and families much research shows masks are an important measure in stopping the spread of COVID-19.” Really? I have seen no irrefutable evidence that masks work in stopping or even slowing the virus. They say masks “may be beneficial.” And, is that our goal now? We’re trying to stop it? We have lost our freaking minds!
    Stand up Alaska!

    • Hell yeah ! Way to go! I agree with this comment.

  • “…ASAA would like to remind the schools, students and families much research shows masks are an important measure in stopping the spread of COVID-19.”

    This is a flat-out lie. These people always tout “research” yet cite nothing, because there is nothing to cite. All of the actual RCT’s that have been done regarding masks and viruses demonstrate that masks are virtually useless. And all of those studies were in regard to other viruses, not COVID-19. Much research, my behind! Doofus is right.

    • Ok, to be fair where is the research that masks are not effective? Do you cover your mouth when you cough? Your nose when you sneeze? Why? A mask, at the most basic level, works as a shield lessening droplets from entering the air. There is plenty of research supporting. With that said though, we are not going to get rid of Covid by wearing masks, albeit it it will lessen speed of spread. It is ridiculous to wear aerobically exercising, or anywhere you can distance, as if you can distance then mask is redundant. Still they are useful and do work as they are intended, and common sense alone supports that, let alone research. Glad to see ASAA has returned to some common sense.

  • This is what is wrong with society today. People are too willing to just accept orders from bureaucrats who may or may not be blithering idiots.

  • “ much research shows masks are an important measure in stopping the spread of COVID-19.”

    Really? Show me the research. Show the “science” behind all this nonsense.

    The emperors have no cloths on, my friends.

  • This had to be, in a era of wrong headed virtue signaling policy, one of the absolute worst policies put forth (next to the disastrous lockdowns). The ratio of “hey look at us, we are woke to the virus!!” versus common sense, was 100 to nil.

  • Masks do not protect from a virus. It’s a test of submission (how many citizens can be manipulated because they won’t look up the truth for themselves – yes, it’s available, even on the CDC website).

  • quote: “…an important measure in stopping the spread of COVID-19.”
    Stopping the spread? Evidence (or lack thereof ) be damned!
    When did we change our tune to stopping the spread. It will not happen. Anyone claiming to be able to stop the spread by whatever magic incantation or covering has become a tool (perhaps by accident) of the Left. The Left generally wants capitalism (and Trump) demonized. By making the goal “stopping the virus,” they have successfully insured that it will never happen no matter what.
    But they did create a perfect stew pot to throw any an all ingredients into knowing full well it will be inedible in the end.
    The Right concedes, generally, by arguing about masks instead of addressing the moving goal posts through the pillaging of our English language.
    What was the order of things?
    *Just 14 days.
    *Flatten the curve and slow the spread!
    *Just 14 more days. Stay home.
    *Mortality, mortality! People are dying!
    *Masks don’t help.
    *Masks help.
    *Don’t go to the hospital unless you feel real sick.
    *More ventilators!
    *Where are our tests?
    *Masks are our salvation!
    *Go get tested.
    *Pay no attention to South Dakota or Sweden!
    *Go get tested, even if you don’t feel sick!
    *More people are getting it!
    *Mortality? Screw that, did you see how many positives we had this week?
    *We must stop the spread.
    And here we are – now being told we can do the impossible – stopping something 1/50 the diameter of a human hair with cloth.
    Maybe if we’re just more sincere. After all, don’t you care for others?

    • Great post! Well said!

  • On a side note, those exercise straps the woman is using in the picture are great.
    There are quite a few “knock off” brands but the original design was invented by a navy seal while deployed. I think the company is called TRX. Highly recommend them for your home workouts!

  • C’MON MAN!
    What happened man? I thought we had this plan all sewed up!
    You’re making’ me look like I was just blowing smoke, man!
    Where’s my aviators?

  • “much research shows masks are an important measure in stopping the spread of COVID-19.”
    Three things: If 85% of the people who die from the Kung Flu reported wearing a mask all the time, then why didn’t the masks save them?
    And the self righteous among us like to pompously announce that they wear a mask to save me, but it doesn’t save them, so therefore if I was as “caring” as they are…..I would wear a mask for their sake.
    Only those who flunked an IQ test would believe such twisted circular reasoning.
    And third….everyone in my doctor’s office is required to wear a mask, you know…for MY sake, not theirs.
    And yet I caught the Kung Flu from them, so there goes that theory.
    And BTW, it didn’t take me off my feet for 5 minutes, because I have made the sacrifices necessary to get my metabolic health in tip top shape, and that is really what it’s all about.
    Everyone who gets very ill or dies from this flu is in poor metabolic health.

    • What are attempting to say? Not everyone is superman.

  • Why not cut to the chase….
    Ditch and defund this “Alaska School Activities Association”, go back to the time when school activities didn’t need a “Alaska School Activities Association”.
    Sure and it might be a bit inconvenient, parents might have to be more involved in school acivities, but the good news is the “Alaska School Activities Association” and all the petty bul… (whoops, can’t say that!) it represents will be history.

    • Heck Yeah!! 100% agree with not needing ASAA!!

      And for the record, the box that holds those stupid masks plainly states THAT IT DOESNT DO ONE DAMN THING TO PREVENT COVID 19!! You asshole teachers robbing us parents of millions of dollars every month AND STILL NOT CAPABLE OF TEACHING need to sit down and STFU!! Parents are fed up with idiots brainwashing and indoctrinating our youth and you fools are bankrupting the entire State of Alaska by paying way too much cash to these incompetent teachers and administrators. Where in the world is someone with some dang sense? Get rid of teacher unions, get rid of the lazy teachers, and CUT IN HALF the Salary of all the rest!!

      You want to know where all o the PFD money is going during every shortfall then look at the TEACHERS AND ADMIN SALARIES AND AUDIT THEM for a more reasonable salary that reflects their talent and dedication instead of reflecting what people made back in the days of infamous North Slope wealth.

      • I can tell you that we weren’t paid enough for the job. That’s why we left.

  • Does anyone at the ASAA know what waterboarding is? My husband, who is a career NCO in Security Forces, USAF, did a demonstration for me when I asked him what it actually is. I voluntarily let him do it to me over the kitchen sink. Having a soaking wet rag over your face when you’re bobbing in and out of the pool would be exactly the same experience. Think this through…. and if it is too hard for you to understand, try it out. What in the name of our sweet lord, babyJesus, is the ASAA playing at?

  • Numbers can be manipulated or outright faked; visual demonstrations- not so easy. On Google, search for Dr. Ted Noel for a great demonstration that every type of mask is useless to prevent transmission of a virus.

    Then “google” Dr. Russell Blaylock for a very well-referenced and readable article. He reviewed just about every study done in the last 20 years. They overwhelmingly concluded that masks are useless at best and dangerous at worst.

    Then move on to Jeremy Hammond, and also John C. Manley at They are both excellent researchers, and they have free subscription lists that anyone can join.

    One more thought about the CDC recent statistics- in the age group 1 to 19 years, the national survival rate from SARS 2 virus infections is 99.997% . The 00.003% (one in 33,000 cases in this age group) who die had suppressed immune systems due to treatments for childhood leukemia, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 diabetes, etc.

    It is beyond ludicrous to shut down schools, and to require robust, healthy athletes to wear a mask under any circumstances, especially outdoors.

    We need to stop acting as though the SARS virus is as dangerous as Ebola or Marburg viruses.

    A lot of information is coming out that a Vitamin D deficiency (much more widespread in the winter months) makes one much more likely to have a more severe viral infection.

  • This idiocy has gotten exhausting. Wear a mask when you are running and competing? Really? In what environment is that even possible? This mask thing has always been an idiotic proposal and to infer different is to be complicit is promotion of population control, not viral control.

  • Hey if some “brave”, “rational”Alaskans want to get COVID and endanger their health and possibly die, that’s their choice as long as they keep the hell away from those that don’t want to take the risk. And BTW if you DO get it, pls. don’t over burden the health system of those that are more considerate of society.

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