TEUTOPOLIS…State Representative Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich) continued his fight to re-open Illinois life back to normal with a focus on student athletic events such as track and field meets. In his letter to Governor JB Pritzker, Rep. Niemerg asks that the mandate on masks be lifted especially for outdoor sports. The request to the governor included the names of local parents and community members who are concerned about the mask mandate for these sports.
“Student athletes need to be able to breathe comfortably while participating in outdoor sports,” said Rep. Adam Niemerg. “These student athletes have had to endure a lot in the past year. It is time to think of them and their well-being instead of enforcing an unrealistic mandate.”
The letter to the Governor points out that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) acknowledges that the risk of students transmitting COVID-19 is low and that being outdoors is safer than being indoors. Also noted in the letter was the example that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) just hosted the men’s basketball tournament and the athletes were not required to wear masks when they were on the court playing.
There is no compelling scientific reason for the age group least at risk for COVID-19 to wear a mask in an outdoor athletic event and this is especially true for no contact sports such as track and field. A mask mandate for outdoor sports does little for public health and is a major inconvenience to athletes on the field.
“The NCAA approach has been a successful one,” added Rep. Niemerg. “Why can’t we take a similar approach to school sports here in Illinois? Please end this senseless mask mandate on outdoor sports activities at schools.”