No masking latest state orders

Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, recently unveiled two new measures to try to temper yet another startlingly fast coronaviral spread, something that may end up being the most unwelcome encore performance in the Keystone state since incumbent Tom Corbett fell short in his gubernatorial re-election bid back in 2014.

These new marching orders will have a direct and profound impact on the Iowa football squad tentatively slated to invade Beaver Stadium on Saturday to battle the still-winless Nittany Lions, a descriptive that I (along with of other Penn State fans) still have difficulty comprehending given that we are a mere one week shy of Thanksgiving.

Levine’s primary order states that, effective Friday, anyone crossing the Mason-Dixon Line and entering our beloved commonwealth from any of 35 different states (including Iowa) must test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arrival.

Any individual who is non-compliant including those who refuse to test for the virus or are still awaiting their results must immediately quarantine possibly to some remote, no expenses paid, yet-to-be-determined location (rumored to be outside Boalsburg) for what would pretty much be the balance of their upcoming Turkey day holiday.

Most visiting teams arrive in Happy Valley around 24 hours prior to kickoff, which means that all members of the Hawkeye traveling party must produce proper documentation upon deplaning in State College or face such dire prospects of not being able to say, head downtown on Friday afternoon to take in the splendor of Old Main, procure some choice swag from The Student Book Store or quaff down a cold malt beverage at the Lion’s Den (assuming it hasn’t exceed 50% capacity).

Another of Levine’s orders stipulates that masks must be worn inside of all indoor locations if anyone that is not a member of an individual’s immediate household is present regardless of any social distancing being practiced.

Since it is highly improbable that any live-in girlfriends, kids, wives, husbands or significant others who qualify as members of someone’s “immediate household” will accompany these Midwestern interlopers to Centre County this weekend, masks will be mandatory facial attire for all properly tested personnel — mandatory during the bus ride to the hotel or while milling around the hotel lobby, riding in the hotel elevator or on a stroll down to the ice dispenser at the end of the hall, at the team snack, the pregame meal and during bed check.

In order to comply with Levine’s orders, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz should plan to mask up while delivering his pregame speech or while communicating any necessary halftime adjustments to his minions in the locker room.

Levine’s multiple mandates to try to manage and mitigate the spread of this virus means that, with the exception of competing on Saturday afternoon in Beaver Stadium, every Iowa player or coach who sets foot in central Pennsylvania this weekend will be expected to don a mask for virtually every waking hour they’re here.

Contz was a starting offensive tackle on Penn State’s first national championship team in 1982 and played six NFL seasons. He published a book in 2017, “When the Lions Roared: Joe Paterno and One of College Football’s Greatest Teams.” He can be reached at jwc512@zoominternet.net.


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