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Question of the day

Wednesday, Sep 16, 2020

* From comments today (links added)…

When asked by a reporter what positivity level he needed to see to reinstate fall sports (football) the Governor said that positivity rate was not a factor. But yet, when he was asked why other states can participate in sports he constantly brings up the positivity rates of other states in relation to our own. If positivity rate is not a factor, then what is the deciding factor of when such activities will be deemed safe?

* So, I posed the question to the governor’s office…

The governor has always said his decisions are guided by science and experts, as this will be no different.

Dr. Michael Lin addressed this issue at length in today’s update.

Dr. Lin is an infectious disease specialist at Rush University Medical Center who studies how diseases spread.

* From Dr. Lin’s comments today

I’ve seen firsthand the suffering such diseases can bring and I take care of patients who have had the misfortune of developing life threatening COVID-19 illness. I’m also a lucky father of two kids, ages eight and 11 who love to play sports. This topic is deeply personal to me.

The governor has asked me to comment about the science behind why high school football and other youth contact sports should be postponed this fall. Here’s what the science tells us.

COVID-19 is a deadly illness that spreads from person to person through close contact. Contact team sports such as football and hockey can become super spreading events very easily. Just one youth athlete showing up with the virus can start a chain reaction of spread that can quickly threaten an entire team. While the virus continues to circulate widely in our communities, there’s no practical way to prevent outbreaks from happening in sports such as football, with all the contact that’s inherent in the sport. This is not just theoretical. We’ve seen COVID-19 outbreaks in college and professional sports teams that have much more prevention resources at their disposal.

While contact sport itself provides an easy way on the field for the virus to spread, it is also incredibly important to remember that there are many off the field activities that are associated with contact sports, such as athletes using locker rooms, working out in gyms, and traveling together that provide a perfect storm of conditions to enable the virus to spread quickly. We’re all in this fight to help the spread of the virus and prevention steps such as postponing contact sports, as hard as it may be seeming on our children, will reduce infections and save lives. With every youth athlete, there’s a parent, or maybe a sibling, or a grandparent who may be at risk for terrible outcomes from COVID-19 disease. Youth sports do not operate in a vacuum and if COVID-19 spreads among our young athletes, it becomes a risk for our entire community. […]

I’ll close by saying what I told my son, who was really looking forward to playing contact sports this school year. Each of the things that we do to prevent COVID-19 and others, some small like putting on a face mask, others more significant like changing how we play and how we work, is an act of love and sacrifice to our fellow human beings. And this pandemic will not last forever. At some point with better medical advances, particularly with our hope for effective vaccines, this pandemic will end. But the time to relax is not now, especially as we head into the fall and winter season with so many lives at risk.

* The first question for the governor today was about what Dr. Lin had just said

Reporter: With no disrespect to Dr. Lin, I understand his point. But you could also have a different position, just like any trial would have an expert who would disagree with him. If these other states and perhaps Minnesota on Monday, all are saying it’s okay to play high school sports, what did they know that you don’t know?

Pritzker: Thank you for asking the question. And I would I would start out by saying is that you could probably find an expert to take a position any which direction that you want. That is true. But I also would say that Dr. Lin is not alone. Indeed, he is among the vast majority of infectious disease experts, epidemiologists, scientists, etc. who are deeply concerned particularly about contact sports, where there is an exchange of sweat, saliva, other things that are going on on the field on a regular basis, not to mention that there’s very little protection once they’re in the locker room. In a typical locker room there’s not that much social distancing as you know. There are concerns about that in addition to the field play. There are obviously other sports that have locker rooms, but I’m just suggesting to you that all of the precautions that are being taken by professional sports, and now by college sports are not available to people who play high school or junior high school sports. And I think the doctors have essentially said, ‘Look, we want to get there as fast as we can. But now is not the time, especially as we’re entering the flu season, especially as we’re entering a season where I think everybody is deeply concerned about a second wave hitting the United States.’

* Here’s more from Pritzker a bit later after WIND’s Amy Jacobson told the governor “You’re hurting our children”

I know that there are many, many parents and kids who would like to be out on the field. And I want them to be out on the field. And as you’ve seen, sports have been categorized not by me by experts about whether they’re high risk, medium risk or low risk. And I’m simply following the science that’s been provided.

Now, I understand there are other states that have made different decisions. That’s one of the tragedies of not having a national strategy here, or being led by a president or CDC that you could trust, that’s providing some direction for everybody. But what I can tell you is that one of the reasons that Illinois has the lowest positivity rate among all of our neighboring states is because we’ve been very careful, because we’ve listened to the scientists. We have some of the best scientists and doctors in the entire country in the state of Illinois. I have been relying upon that, not to mention Dr. Fauci and others. And these are very difficult decisions, and they are emotional decisions even for me. And all I can say to you is that as the information reveals itself, as the scientists come forward with new information - I just want to remind you all that at the very beginning, the CDC said, ‘Well, if you can’t wear an N95 mask, don’t bother wearing a mask.’ That was something they said at the very beginning. We obviously have all discovered that sciences change. We have studies now that show that even the cloth mask that you have on now is a benefit to everybody if we would all wear one, or a surgical mask as you’re wearing, Craig.

So this is evolving, there’s no doubt about it. And there have been changes. And there was not an understanding over the summer, that when we would allow people to go to sports camps, or join their leagues of the summer, there was not an understanding at the beginning of what the transmission might be that occurs. But the fact is that all over the world, youth sports have proven to be very problematic. And that I think, is why, and I’m not making a political judgment about that. I’m just reading, as I think all of you can about what other countries what other states what other. I understand everybody can make a choice here. There’s no doubt about it. And I and Illinois is making a choice here. We’re making a choice based upon the science, that there are some sports that are less risky than others, and we’re allowing those.

* Pritzker was then asked if he understood “the mixed message of today” with the Big 10 announcement that football will soon return

When you’re talking about Big 10, and you’re talking about professional sports, much different than high school sports. It just is, because of the amount of testing because, of the amount of the doctors that are available, because of the focus on testing for myocarditis. That’s something that the Big 10 has said that they will do in kids who contract coronavirus. That’s not something that’s happening at the high school level. And so we really need to just pay attention here to the different levels. It’s not football here is same as football over there. If you could put a bubble around each one of these teams, for example, at high schools, and you could provide athe same kinds of services. Perhaps high schools could do that. But look, I’m making decisions for an entire state. We have 855 school districts in the state of Illinois and we have individual schools within those school districts. More than 4000 total schools and, you know, these decisions are they’re difficult to make. But it’s important that I keep in mind anyway how we can best keep our are kids safe and healthy.

Please excuse all transcription errors.

* The Question: Should Illinois allow high school football teams to play this fall? And if so, under what restrictions? And if not, why?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

66 Comments »
  1. - Tom - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:28 pm:

    No, I played high school football and have very fond memories of playing and the lessons it taught me. Later I watched my sons play so I understand the desire to see football played. I would be at a game every Friday night this fall if this was a normal year, but it isn’t a normal year. I don’t want the kids (and they are kids) memories of football being their classmate, family member or friends dying or suffering long term complications because some adults didn’t put the best interest of the child first, even if that makes the child unhappy.


  2. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:28 pm:

    I’m in the shut it all down camp. I’m skeptical of pro sports, highly skeptical of having college sports and think it’s ridiculous that any k-graduate school kids are having in-person instruction. Get both R-naught AND the positive rate below 1 and we can talk.

    Reminder: New York has done a fantastically better job managing the pandemic - they’ve had positive rates below 1% for more than a month now. And they just cancelled high school football for the fall


  3. - Fav Human - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:30 pm:

    No. But I do note that Dr. Lin didn’t give a % number, other than an implied zero.


  4. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:30 pm:

    If private schools want to play, I might consider supporting that. But I don’t want to subsidize the spread of this disease, so I support banning fall close contact sports by public schools. The governor is taking a very tough and unpopular stance and I support him 100%.

    Also, did Amy Jacobson really say “you are hurting our children?” Was she saying it like a sarcastic Maude Flanders way, or was she trying to be serious?


  5. - pool boy - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:30 pm:

    No, hope for a vaccine and play it in the Spring.


  6. - very old soil - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:31 pm:

    No. what Tom said


  7. - mrp - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:34 pm:

    No. Way too easy to spread in close contact.

    Most press in the past 7-10 days has focused on pressure from parents to resume based on that coveted scholarship, missed scouting opportunities, etc.

    That screams money, not public healthy safety.


  8. - OneMan - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:35 pm:

    At this time no.

    The different states are doing it under different rules and conditions, with the risks involved it makes sense at a minimum to give that ‘experiment’ more time to play out. There is no ‘win’ to be at the bleeding edge on this.

    Too many unknowns and too much risk. You screw this up, you create a much bigger problem. Worse case you try in March, not ideal but it is something.


  9. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:36 pm:

    I can see erring on side of caution. Do it in spring as they said
    However, I do not understand how college football is allowed then in this state. And if it is then why are not all college sports treated the same. Can you only test football players for some reason?


  10. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:37 pm:

    WIND’s Amy Jacobson told the governor “You’re hurting our children”……did not realize 2 Piece had athletes to care for


  11. - SouthSide Markie - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:39 pm:

    Rich: FYI. The “You’re hurting our children” link in the post goes to SextShanAnything.


  12. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:40 pm:

    No, the commitment to not play this fall was made based on the best data available at the time. Since then new studies are showing other health issues related to COVID. Spring will provide more data. Life will go on.


  13. - Froganon - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:40 pm:

    No, the risk outweighs any possible benefit multiple times. HS Fall sports are not necessary. Recruitment for college teams will work around this. Parental hysteria over postponing the season is far more damaging to the moral health
    of these kids. Risking the lives and health of students and their families is repulsive.


  14. - harp5339 - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:41 pm:

    I don’t get this huge focus on starting up high school football now, when it hasn’t currently been canceled, it’s been moved to later in the school year. Even if Covid was magically eradicated today, it would be logistically impossible to spin up a season at this point, and the delay under IHSA acclimation rules would push the start of games into October at the earliest. So my answer is “no” regardless of my opinion of the safety (for the record I don’t think it’s safe right now).

    Also the governor did the exact same thing again, mentioning positivity rates.


  15. - Benjamin - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:42 pm:

    Nope. The risk is too high of transmitting the virus for something that’s an extracurricular. Until the state and country (and world) have COVID-19 better under control, nonessentials like kids’ sports have to be put on hold.


  16. - 1st Ward - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:42 pm:

    “athletes using locker rooms, working out in gyms, and traveling together”

    Can’t athletes wear a mask in all of these situations? The gyms are open if you were a mask, air/bus/rail travel is open if you wear a mask….. close the locker rooms if needed. Not a good answer from Dr. Lin.

    I don’t think fall sports should be played if kids can’t go to school. They are student-athletes. Student comes first.


  17. - Someone you Should Know - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:48 pm:

    Let me know when schools, other than those on the north shore can test twice a week. Let know when you don’t load up 100 kids on 2-3 buses. Let me know when you can give these kids more than two gym locker rooms. Let me know when we can get our numbers down to NY State levels. Then I can consider this.


  18. - SSL - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:51 pm:

    Of all sports football is the most difficult. The ultimate contact sport. I remember watching a college game years ago where a player on one team had a stomach virus. By the second half you had players on both teams vomiting on the sidelines. I’m okay with the position Pritzker has taken on this.


  19. - Make It A Double - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:51 pm:

    The positivity rate in some suburban athletic conference communities is well below 1%. Let em play.


  20. - Simple Simon - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:52 pm:

    No. HS sports cannot be played in a bubble, and are frankly unnecessary. They can wait for a vaccine. Any other answer is selfish.


  21. - Leigh John-Ella - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:54 pm:

    If football resumes, the schools should agree to cover any and all medical costs should a student athlete or his or her family be infected.

    Otherwise the first thing those schools are going to do is ask every family for a waiver, which tells you exactly what priority the students are.


  22. - revvedup - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:54 pm:

    NO. Heck No. For all the reasons the good Doctor gave us, and more. Every step we take to rush “normal” just moves the State backwards. We’re in the second quarter, and Covid is winning by the score of 8,564 deaths (John Hopkins 10/16). Mask up, don’t congregate, stay home!


  23. - Northsider - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:56 pm:

    All it takes is one infected, asymptomatic kid, so … no.


  24. - Chicagonk - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:57 pm:

    If schools are operating in person, yes. If they are remote, no.


  25. - harp5339 - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 3:57 pm:

    == Otherwise the first thing those schools are going to do is ask every family for a waiver ==

    Our high school is doing workouts and “contact days” (contact with coaches, not contact sports activities) and have already made parents sign a COVID-19 waiver.


  26. - Pundent - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:00 pm:

    =Can’t athletes wear a mask in all of these situations? The gyms are open if you were a mask, air/bus/rail travel is open if you wear a mask….. close the locker rooms if needed. Not a good answer from Dr. Lin.=

    And yet the coach of the LSU football team believes that almost every player contracted the virus. So what an athlete (or coach for that matter) can do and will do are two different things. Did you see the coaches on NFL sidelines this weekend? They all could have correctly worn masks but many chose not to. And if they can’t do it with cameras on them what possible reason do we have to believe that college or high school students will be compliant behind closed doors? And keep in mind the NFL is investing heavily in regular testing.

    We can’t afford to put our communities and health care workers at risk because a few parents can’t fathom the thought of a fall without high school football. Ten years from now no one will remember that we had to go without football. But there will be lots of talk about how we could have managed the virus better and avoided a lot of needless deaths.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:04 pm:

    In the fall?

    No.

    === And if not, why?===

    The IHSA has made the decision for the spring.

    No compelling reason to change that.


  28. - tea_and_honey - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:06 pm:

    I’m still not understanding this push to start things up now. At best you get a shortened season. In the spring you’d get a full season.

    And if having an off season of practice only and no games “hurts our children” why don’t we see that problem every year ?


  29. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:07 pm:

    No. There is no harm in potentially playing football in the spring. Also, you can bet that if you were to allow football to be played that the parents would also want to be in the stands cheering for their kids. That’s just as much of an issue was the kids playing the game itself. I dare anyone to say: “ok, we’ll play football but the parents can’t come to watch.”


  30. - Keyrock - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:07 pm:

    No, for the reasons said by Dr. Lin and the Governor.


  31. - R A T - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:07 pm:

    No. My real answer is because it makes Trump supporters unhappy, which makes me happy.
    But then I would say normal things like the high schools do not have the money or testing of colleges.


  32. - Paddyrollingstone - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:09 pm:

    Tea and honey and others - I totally agree. The football has not been canceled - just moved. I get it - not much beats seeing HS FB in chilly fall weather. Other than that, not sure why it has to be played now when we are so unsure of testing, etc. Go Hilltoppers.


  33. - FDB - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:14 pm:

    I agree with OW. What is so awful about delaying it until spring? Let’s get through this fall/winter and we can have HS football in the spring. It’s just a few months.


  34. - Hit the books - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:15 pm:

    I thought these were extracurriculars? Why isn’t this energy put into curriculum and actual academic learning?


  35. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:16 pm:

    “Can’t athletes wear a mask in all of these situations?” Remember it’s masks AND social distancing.


  36. - 1st Ward - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:16 pm:

    “And yet the coach of the LSU football team believes that almost every player contracted the virus.”

    We assume its from football. They are also living in close quarters separate from football and may be going to parties on the weekend.

    Again, I don’t support high school sports being played if the school cannot have in-person classes.

    “Did you see the coaches on NFL sidelines this weekend?”

    See basketball coaches on the sideline which is all indoors.

    “what possible reason do we have to believe that college or high school students will be compliant behind closed doors”

    someone tests positive games/season are canceled.

    “few parents can’t fathom the thought of a fall without high school football.”


  37. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:16 pm:

    No. loved HS sports. Football paid for college. The risk of permanent damage is too high.


  38. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:17 pm:

    Some reporter should ask the governor when he is going to delegate all state spending control to financial experts and scientists.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:21 pm:

    === See basketball coaches on the sideline which is all indoors.===

    The NBA is in a bubble

    Keep up, please.


  40. - 1st Ward - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:21 pm:

    “Remember it’s masks AND social distancing.”

    High School Football is played outdoor. See Gotlieb’s twitter on study showing only 2 people contracted the virus outdoors out of 1,245 cases from 318 outbreaks.

    https://twitter.com/scottgottliebmd/status/1253321483402674178

    https://twitter.com/scottgottliebmd/status/1253321483402674178


  41. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:22 pm:

    ===Of all sports football is the most difficult===

    Wrestling.


  42. - Groundhog Day - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:23 pm:

    Not no, but hell no. too dangerous to subject children to risks that are not currently understood. See the Wired story about exercising with COVID.


  43. - Eastside - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:23 pm:

    Yes. I don’t see anything in the Governor’s response of Dr. Lin’s comments that lead me to believe there is a plan to return to play. What will change in the Spring that will alter the decision. Contact in football is not going to change. I’m not sure how the virus will be any more in check in March than it is now.

    My son played football. He has graduated and moved on. If he were still in high school I would have no problems with him playing. I know numerous other families in other states whose boys are on their third week of football without incident. It can be done. I would rather see an attempt on how it could be done safely rather than just…..NO.


  44. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:25 pm:

    No to contact and other close sports.

    With respect to all, the issue here isn’t starting up sports. It is starting up football and other close quarters or contact sports.

    Golf is going. Cross country as well. I have no problem with either of those. We could have moved baseball and softball and track (we do not offer as many sports as big districts)to the fall but the IHSA didn’t begin the process fast enough to do that.

    I look at this issue from the same perspective I use for closing school on snow days and other extreme weather days: I am happy to listen to input from whomever, but at the end of the day whatever happens the outcome it falls on my shoulders and is my responsibility as the district superintendent.

    So I listen to people, I don’t argue with them. But I have a clearly defined process for these decisions and will do what I think is best supported, in the case of COVID, by science. That means I don’t worry too much about the opinions of folks who are not accountable for the decision, including individual parents who are only responsible for their children and not the children of the other 600 or so families.

    We are running a hybrid schedule with a remote only option. We have implemented good mitigation and have no school spread of COVID to date.


  45. - Eastside - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:27 pm:

    I also think it is odd that Dr. Lin designated working out in gyms as a dangerous activity because that is currently allowed under the IHSA plan and the Governor’s current guidance.


  46. - Anna - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:27 pm:

    ===Of all sports football is the most difficult===
    How about wrestling and basketball, which has become a full contact sport?


  47. - AlfondoGonz - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:31 pm:

    I played high school and college football and it served as the flagship in my journey to develop hard work and accountability.

    The answer is no. We need to show the youth that sometimes, the right course of action is the more difficult one.


  48. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:33 pm:

    People, the question is about football. Stick to football.


  49. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:35 pm:

    “Should Illinois allow high school football teams to play fall?”

    No.

    “And if not, why?”

    High schoolers are children and there’s a deadly, debilitating and highly contagious global pandemic.

    – MrJM


  50. - Augie - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:41 pm:

    Sorry Rich, I saw hockey mentioned in the Dr.’s statement. Now I see ur question was only about football.
    No. Stick to the plan.


  51. - jimbo26 - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:49 pm:

    NO. My guess is that there are a lot of Dads who are for football. Many of them want it not for the kids but for themselves. Years ago my school and another almost merged which would have allowed for more advanced classes. Never happened because of the sports rivalry between the 2 towns. The students suffered as the “real men” yelled from the sidelines at games.


  52. - BluegrassBoy - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 4:55 pm:

    Yes, they should play, but with empty stands (see how many parents like that), and only if players get tested weekly. The IHSA has some deep pockets so, if they can find a way to pay for testing, then they should be able play.


  53. - MyTwoCents - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 5:00 pm:

    No, there’s no way you could put a plan in place for all HS football teams in IL that the Big Ten has put in place. They at least have a decent chance of having a successful season. But there are too many variables at play for HS football. All it takes is 1 untested COVID positive player to potentially infect 2 teams and it just spreads from there. There’s not the ability to adequately test all players, or ensure that all players and coaching staffs adhere to all protocols.


  54. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 5:18 pm:

    No, our community is a hot spot and we’re in full remote learning.


  55. - Chatham Resident - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 5:43 pm:

    No, not even in the spring at this rate.

    And there should be no sports of any kind unless students are back to full in-person learning. Not even during remote or hybrid.


  56. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 7:07 pm:

    I stick by my position day 1. These are hypocritical mitigation efforts.


  57. - WH Mess - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 8:13 pm:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen your commenters so unified. No. Moved to spring. Unlikely then imho - but decide then


  58. - Cool Papa Bell - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 8:54 pm:

    Yes. Players and families can choose to play or not.

    Masks for coaches, only family in stands, cheer teams in masks, refs in masks. 7 weeks and 4 week playoff.

    Play now. What is the scientific reasoning to waiting? The positivity rate won’t be zero on March 7th so why does science say wait?


  59. - Ogres are like onions - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 9:40 pm:

    Players and families can choose to play or not.===

    The people they later expose have not been given a choice. Science says wait because the spread does not stop with the players. It extends to their families, their friends, waiters, nurses, and cashiers.

    ===The positivity rate won’t be zero on March 7th===

    I think you’re right. Sports are not a critical activity. Life goes on if football is canceled. Better than people dying.


  60. - Pundent - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 10:04 pm:

    The decision on whether or not to play has to be based on the community as a whole not just the high school football community. And on that basis the answer on playing is no.


  61. - Cool Papa Bell - Wednesday, Sep 16, 20 @ 10:14 pm:

    Ogres - I agree and understand. But this from the CDC “People who tested positive for COVID-19 were twice as likely to have recently eaten at a restaurant: CDC” shows what real risky behavior looks like. And since I have no control over who eats out or goes to a bar and later infects me, I say play.

    Sports aren’t essential/critcal and neither is allowing dine in eating or drinking. We are way past the essential discussion from an honest public health assessment.

    But months ago I preferred the motto close the bars open the schools.


  62. - filmmaker prof - Thursday, Sep 17, 20 @ 2:40 am:

    Yes. Because Donald Trump and Amy Jacobson said so. And the My Pillow guy, I think.


  63. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 17, 20 @ 8:39 am:

    === Sports aren’t essential/critcal and neither is allowing dine in eating or drinking. We are way past the essential discussion from an honest public health assessment.===

    Yeah. About that.

    If Timmy’s football season is in the spring, no big whoop.

    If a restaurant/bar closes, or temporarily closes, those are jobs, tax revenues, and a vacant space.

    Timmy waiting on football isn’t the same as the concern for businesses.

    It’s an extra curricular activity, not a family’s income.


  64. - MG85 - Thursday, Sep 17, 20 @ 9:14 am:

    No. I’m not particularly interested in trading higher risk of infection for football games I’m not attending or wish to attend.

    I also reject the premise that others states “know something” that we don’t. They know what we know and they made a poor choice.

    Just because someone jumped off a bridge doesn’t mean you should too.


  65. - Nicole - Thursday, Sep 17, 20 @ 9:32 am:

    To those that state it’s just an extra curricular activity, or shouldn’t be allowed until school is fully in session, I found this quote this summer from a 1927 court case that I still find true: “It can no longer be denied that extracurricular activities constitute an integral component of public education. Such activities are generally recognized as a fundamental ingredient of the educational process. They are no less fitted for the ultimate purpose of our public schools, to wit, the making of good citizens physically, mentally, and morally, than the study of algebra and Latin…” Students and families have a choice to play sports or participate in other extra-curricular activities. They do not have a choice if their district is in person full days. This should be considered on it’s own merit.

    Additionally, the mental health effects on teens are real and long-lasting. As a parent of a senior football player who may have played his last game before he was ready to be done, it’s a struggle every single day for him. And I do not project my feelings on to him.

    For those concerned about the spread, it’s important to still be concerned and take this seriously. Since my kids are in school on a hybrid schedule, when they visit their elderly grand parents, it’s with masks, socially distanced, and outside if possible. It’s possible to do both - be concerned and take COVID-19 seriously, while allowing high school sports, in this case, football.


  66. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 17, 20 @ 9:36 am:

    Why isn’t spring football acceptable?

    That’s what’s at play too, the IHSA has stated, spring for football.

    The question Rich posed was;

    === Should Illinois allow high school football teams to play this fall?===

    What is the rush?


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* Syverson appears to claim state is "adjusting" positivity rate
* Question of the day
* New ads in Rodney Davis district
* Pritzker says he "strongly" believes Madigan should testify to House Special Investigating Committee
* 2,273 new cases, 35 additional deaths, 1,632 in hospitals, 3.6 percent positivity rate, IDPH issues Halloween guidance
* Money becoming a factor in Kilbride retention
* A brief look at some legislative races
* Drug sentencing reform is topic of Senate hearing
* House Special Investigating Committee coverage roundup
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Vote by mail applications top 2 million here
* Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago turns thumbs down on "Fair Tax"
* Open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Outbreak traced to Lake County adult volleyball league
* After two-point positivity rate jump in two weeks, resurgence mitigation imposed on Region 1
* Yesterday's stories

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