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Photo of maskless Vermont football players prompts criticism

September 17, 2020 GMT

WESTMINSTER, Vt. (AP) — A photo of the senior football players from a Vermont high school is prompting school officials to remind the players and others of the need to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

The Brattleboro Reformer reports the photo of the uniformed-players from the Bellows Falls Union High School senior was taken by the parent of one of the players.

“We are asking people to wear masks and keep social distance,” School Board member Colin James said during a meeting this week. He said the football players were “stacked on top of each other, no masks were worn.”

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“To me, that is not okay,” James said.

After seeing the photo, school Principal Christopher Hodsden sent out an email to coaches reminding them that if a student wears a school uniform he or she has to wear a mask and follow social distancing practices.

School board member Jack Bryar said the students needed to be reminded that football is recreation.

“This is serious business,” Bryar said. “It’s not trivial.”

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NUMBERS

On Thursday, the Vermont Health Department reported three new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to more than 1,700.

The number of deaths remains at 58.