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Masks temporarily required for indoor high school sports in Illinois

The mandate applies to everyone taking part in or visiting a sporting event, regardless of vaccination status.

ILLINOIS, USA — As part of the new wave of COVID-19 guidelines, the Illinois Department of Public Health will be mandating masks for any person taking part in an Illinois High School Association sport activity or event for the time being.

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced the update on Wednesday, August 4, as part of his wider mask mandate for schools, as well as certain state and long-term health facilities.

The order mandates mask wearing for any athlete, coach, official, game personnel, or fan taking part in an indoor sports practice or match, regardless of their vaccination status.

The mandate applies to all IHSA fall sports, with the exception of swimmers and divers in the pool, as well as winter sports holding pre-season practices, conditioning, and weightlifting.

“Today’s announcement will not deter us from our mission of safely offering high school student-athletes in Illinois the opportunity to participate in sports and activities,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Illinois high school student-athletes and coaches have been resilient in dealing with myriad mitigations and unexpected changes over the past year. We hope all Illinoisans do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 so we can quickly move beyond this and remove masks from indoor athletic events.” 

The new rule does not enact a spectator capacity limit or alter the IHSA fall schedule.