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J. Thomas McNamara

     IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson released this statement minutes ago (Tuesday afternoon around 3:30), “I recognize that IHSA schools, students, and coaches are anxious for the IHSA Return To Play Guidelines to be released. In many ways, they represent the first step in a return to normalcy as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
     “The IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee was diligent in their development of these guidelines, and we have worked in good faith with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to make sure our plan optimizes safety for high school students in Illinois. IDPH approval is vital in this process, and we understand and respect that they have pressing statewide issues to resolve that take precedence over high school sports.
     “Quarantine has been a test of patience, and now we ask our IHSA community for just a bit more of it as we collaborate with IDPH to finalize these Return To Play Guidelines. We understand that the return of athletics is important to our high school students from a physical, mental, and emotional perspective, but we also recognize that we must be in full accord with IDPH to maximize safety and help avoid any setbacks in reuniting our students with their coaches.”
     What are these guidelines that the Illinois Department of Public Health hasn’t approved. It would be beneficial to the public to know what the IDPH finds troublesome to them.
     After all the IHSA knows prep sports better than the IDPH administrators and others who are reviewing these guidelines the IHSA medical advisory committee put together.
     I wish there was more transparency coming out of the IDPH regarding the IHSA and what’s holding up the startup of July activities for prep sports.
     I will have more on this obviously developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

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