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Rep. Severin Leads Bipartisan Coalition of Legislators and Educators Asking Governor Pritzker and IDPH to Allow 25 Percent Capacity at Extracurricular Events

SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) is leading a bipartisan coalition of legislators in requesting Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health loosen COVID-19 restrictions at K-12 extracurricular events to allow for 25% audience capacity.
The letter, which contains the signatures of both Republican and Democrat members of the legislature, reads in part as follows:

“We have learned from conversations with school officials involved with the planning and execution of hosting extracurricular activities that there have in fact not been major viral outbreaks resulting from allowing previously prohibited extracurricular activities. We believe this is due to the unprecedented effort of local school officials and athletes to take the steps necessary to keep everyone safe.

We believe this same level of safety can be maintained and that outbreaks of COVID-19 can be avoided and mitigated. Therefore, we the undersigned request that grade school, junior high, and high school extracurricular events be allowed to host fans at 25% capacity of each individual gymnasium or school provided extracurricular space that hosts boys or girls school sanctioned contests.

We remain committed to honoring the requests of our constituents and believe wholeheartedly that a 25% crowd capacity and 6-foot social distance limits can be achieved safely. By taking this action immediately, you can help families make memories that would otherwise be lost and ease public pressure on school districts and local officials.”

The Illinois High School Association, the Illinois Association of School Boards, the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Illinois Association of Athletic Directors, and the Illinois Principals Association have also signed the letter and support allowing 25% fan and audience capacity at extracurricular events.

For more information, please contact State Rep. Dave Severin at (618) 440-5090 or visit RepSeverin.com

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Governor JB Pritzker
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706

IDPH Director Dr. Ngoze Ezike
525-535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, IL 62761

Dear Governor Pritzker and Dr. Ezike

As Illinois has made steady progress toward moving out of Phase 4 COVID-19 mitigations, thousands of students of all ages are back enjoying the previously prohibited extracurricular activities that they love.

The concerns that many of us had prior to the start of previously prohibited extracurricular activities were related to the possibility of uncontrolled outbreaks of COVID-19 due to close proximity of participants, coaches, athletes, officials, and spectators.

After two full weeks in extracurricular activities, the suggested ‘incubation’ period for COVID-19 as per IDPH and CDC guidelines, we are encouraged by the results. We have learned from conversations with school officials involved with the planning and execution of hosting extracurricular activities that there have in fact not been major viral outbreaks resulting from allowing previously prohibited extracurricular activities.

We believe this is due to the unprecedented effort of local school officials and athletes to take the steps necessary to keep everyone safe. We believe this same level of safety can be maintained and that outbreaks of COVID-19 can be avoided and mitigated.

Therefore, we the undersigned request that grade school, junior high, and high school extracurricular events be allowed to host fans at 25% capacity of each individual gymnasium or school provided extracurricular space that hosts boys or girls school sanctioned contests. We feel that allowing fans at a capacity of 25% can be accomplished following stated guidelines for mask-wearing and appropriate social distancing of 6 feet. The restrictions for the distance that must be maintained in large and small gymnasiums are causing problems for participants, athletes, cheerleaders, fans, and school officials.

We further request that any distance requirements be lowered to the standard 6 feet for social distancing purposes. Following mask-wearing and social-distancing guidelines should be enough, according to IDPH and the CDC, to greatly limit the spread of COVID-19. Seniors in high school have now had their final two years in school interrupted by the pandemic. Parents and siblings have missed out on memories too many to count, and too precious to ignore.

The Illinois High School Association, the Illinois Association of School Boards, the Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois Association of Athletic Directors, and Illinois Principals Association have signed this letter. We do not make this request frivolously.

We remain committed to honoring the requests of our constituents and believe wholeheartedly that a 25% crowd capacity and 6-foot social distance limits can be achieved safely. By taking this action immediately, you can help families make memories that would otherwise be lost and ease public pressure on school districts and local officials.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to any member, association, or school official that has signed below. We look forward to your prompt reply.

Sincerely,

Dave Severin State Representative – 117th
District Thomas Bertrand, Executive Director Illinois Association of School Boards
Brent Clark, Executive Director Illinois Association of School Administrators Dr. Jason E. Leahy, Executive Director Illinois Principals Association
Mike Morris, Executive Director Illinois Athletic Directors Association
Craig Anderson, Executive Director Illinois High School Association
Neil Anderson State Senator – 36th District
Chapin Rose State Senator – 51st District
Terri Bryant State Senator – 58th District
Dale Fowler State Senator – 59th District
Bradley Stephens State Representative – 20th District
Nicholas K. Smith State Representative – 34th District
Jaime M. Andrade, Jr. State Representative – 40th District
Amy Grant State Representative – 42nd District
Seth Lewis State Representative – 45th District
Chris Bos State Representative – 51st District
Martin McLaughlin State Representative – 52nd District
Thomas A. Morrison State Representative – 54th District
Martin J. Moylan State Representative – 55th District
Tom Weber State Representative – 64th District
Maurice A. West, II State Representative – 67th District
Steven Reick State Representative – 63rd District
Tony McCombie State Representative – 71st District
Ryan Spain State Representative – 73rd District
Daniel Swanson State Representative – 74th District
Jackie Haas State Representative – 79th District
Anthony DeLuca State Representative – 80th District
Lawrence Walsh, Jr. State Representative – 86th District
Tim Butler State Representative – 87th District
Andrew S. Chesney State Representative – 89th District
Norine Hammond State Representative – 93rd District
Randy E. Frese State Representative – 94th District
Mike Murphy State Representative – 99th District
Dan Caulkins State Representative – 101st District
Brad Halbrook State Representative – 102nd District
Mike Marron State Representative – 104th District
Dan Brady State Representative – 105th District
Thomas M. Bennett State Representative – 106th District
Charlie Meier State Representative – 108th District
Chris Miller State Representative – 110th District
Amy Elik State Representative – 111th District
Paul Jacobs State Representative – 115th District
David Friess State Representative – 116th District
Patrick Windhorst State Representative – 118th District

 

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