Gov. Pritzker issues mask mandate for indoor youth sports

Sports

WCIA — Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a mask mandate for all youth indoor sports on Wednesday, requiring face coverings for all inside recreation. That includes high school volleyball and girls’ swimming and diving, the only two fall IHSA indoor sports.

“Face coverings will be required for all indoor recreation, where as outdoor, where transmission risks and rates are lower, athletes and coaches will not be required to mask.”

The new rule doesn’t change much for outdoor sports such as football, cross country, golf and girls’ tennis. But if they decide to move practices indoors, they will be required to mask.

The Governor cited increased hospitalizations and positive cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant as the main reason for the change.

“Since we reached our lowest case numbers earlier this summer, we’ve seen COVID-19 cases soar by a factor of nearly 10,” Pritzker said. “Hospitalizations and ICU rates have doubled in a month and since the middle of July, the number of COVID patients requiring a ventilator has multiplied nearly two and a half times over.”

Watch Gov. Pritzker’s full press conference from Wednesday below:

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.