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New Guidelines Allows for Return of High-Risk Sports in Local Illinois Counties

New COVID-19 guidance released by the Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday allows for sports considered 'high-risk' like basketball, football, and wrestling, to resume in counties currently in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.

Posted: Jan 22, 2021 3:48 PM
Updated: Jan 22, 2021 3:49 PM

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced Friday new sports guidance for all youth and adult recreational sports for counties currently in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.

With Friday's announcement, Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan now expands the level of play for all sports to allow play at the intra-conference, region, or league levels.

Regions 3, 5, and 6 are currently in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan. Local counties in Region 5 include Wabash, White, Gallatin, Edwards, Wayne, Hamilton, Salin counties, with Richland and Lawrence counties just outside of that in Region 6.

Before Friday's announcement, many were expecting Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and IDPH to entirely cancel sports categorized as high risk. Sports categorized as High Risk include Basketball, Boxing, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Martial Arts, Rugby, Ultimate Frisbee, Wrestling.

As of now, it's unknown if the IHSA will start the basketball season immediately, as the current schedule says, or if they'll push it back to Spring.

Football, however, is currently scheduled to start on Feb. 15.

To view the full sports guidance document released by IDPH on Friday, click here.


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The cold front has come and gone and with it our threat for Severe Weather. However, scattered showers and thunderstorms will continue to affect portions of the Tri-State through the remainder of the evening ahead. In fact, there is a possibility that some of the thunderstorms we see between now and 9PM or so could produce small hail and wind gusts in excess of 40 mph. Anyone planning on attending a football game this evening should make sure an umbrella or poncho is on hand to keep you dry and should anticipate at least some rain delays to occur. The rain should finally exit east of the Tri-State between 10PM and 12AM; it's around that time that wind speeds will again pick up some steam - our northwesterly winds are expected to gust as high as 35 mph at times overnight.
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