IDPH Releases New Guidelines for Illinois Athletics

SPRINGFIELD – On Friday, Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker released new information about relaxing COVID-19 mitigations, including new guidelines for youth sports.

Illinois Department of Public Health director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said “for all the regions that are in Phase 4 already, all sports will be allowed to play at the intra-conference region or league levels.”

Previously, schools in Phase 4 regions were not allowed to play contests or scrimmages against other schools for “high-risk sports” like boys and girls basketball.

Indian Prairie School District 204 is headquartered in DuPage County, which is considered part of Region 8. Currently, Region 8 is in Tier 2. The region would then have to improve to Tier 1, before reaching Phase 4 mitigations.

As of Friday, guidance would allow intra-conference or intra-league play for Region 8 for low-risk winter sports like boys swimming and diving, girls bowling, cheer, dance and girls gymnastics. It would only allow non-contact practices and trainings for high-risk sports.

The IDPH is recommending that all athletes wear face coverings during competition. It is also recommending a limit of 25-50 spectators for both indoor and outdoor events.

The winter sports season was set to expire on February 13, followed by the spring sports season, which runs from February 5 to May 1. However, on January 27, the IHSA may release new dates for the winter, spring and summer seasons.

For more information on Illinois’ All Sports Policy, visit ihsa.org.

For more information on IDPH’s region data, visit dph.illinois.gov.