The Cook County Department of Public Health says its office is investigating after a wrestling event was held at a suburban athletic complex over the weekend.
According to officials in suburban Lynwood, a citation was issued to the management of the Southland Center after a youth wrestling event was held at the facility.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker called the tournament a “terrible idea,” and says that he wishes that tournament organizers could have held off on the event with a new COVID-19 vaccine beginning to make its way into the state.
“We need to survive for us to be able to take the vaccine,” he said. “We want all the people that would like to wrestle to be able to get this vaccine. Putting parents, teachers and coaches, and the kids, in danger is a terrible idea.”
The department of health in Cook County says that it is investigating the incident. Management at the facility declined comment.
Joe Trost, a student-athlete advocate who has been one of the state’s foremost voices in the battle to allow the resumption of some athletic competition amid the coronavirus pandemic, says that such events are not uncommon, saying that they’ve been going on since the beginning of summer.
Trost says a youth basketball tournament was held near the border of Romeoville and Naperville this weekend, and a soccer tournament was held in Frankfort as well.
"People want what’s best for their kids, and fortunately or unfortunately people are looking at it through their own, lens, and if they feel that it’s safe or healthy for their child to do it, then that’s what they’re doing," he said.
Trost says that similar events could continue unless the state is willing to consider other enforcement measures.
“It’s polarizing because there’s people who believe that kids should be out there, and there are people who are going to continue to do this unless there’s authorities that are walking in and shutting facilities down,” he said.
Currently, Tier 3 coronavirus mitigations prohibit indoor youth sports from taking place. The Illinois High School Association has paused competitions in most indoor sports, but is still working to resume those competitions when the state begins to roll back coronavirus restrictions.