State Representative Ryan Spain joined 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.
“Our local school officials are telling us they can accommodate at least 25% audience capacity safely,” said Rep. Spain. “I am thankful that legislators from across the aisle and across the state are beginning to push back more on Executive overreach now that the legislature is back in session. I hope Governor Pritzker takes this feedback from educators and legislators seriously.”
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, Illinois Association of Athletic Directors, and Illinois Principals Association have also signed the letter and support allowing 25% fan and audience capacity at extracurricular events.