New School Mask Mandate Includes Athletes, Coaches in Indoor Sporting Events, IHSA Says

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A new mandate issued by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker will require students and teachers to wear masks while indoors to start the school year, and that mandate will also apply to athletes, coaches, referees and fans at indoor sporting events.

Pritzker made the announcement on Wednesday during a press conference.

According to the Illinois High School Association, all student-athletes, coaches, officials, game personnel and fans taking part in indoor sporting events will be required to wear masks, with the mandate going into effect immediately.

The mandate does not apply to outdoor sports, according to the governor’s office.

For the IHSA, the mandate will involve several fall sports, including swimming and diving and volleyball. Swimmers will not be required to wear masks while competing, but will be required to put masks on when they are out of the pool, according to IHSA officials.

Those individuals who are participating in offseason conditioning or practices for winter sports like basketball and wrestling will be required to wear masks while indoors under the terms of the mandate, according to the IHSA.

The governor’s new mitigations will also impact state employees working at congregant living facilities, as those workers will be required to get COVID-19 vaccines by the beginning of October.

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