PEORIA, Ill. — (WMBD) Attendance will be limited at the upcoming Illinois High School Association state boy’s basketball tournaments in Peoria and other qualifying basketball games.
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson announced in a news release Thursday morning that due to the COVID-19 pandemic no more than 60 spectators will be allowed for each game at the 1A and 2A basketball tournament.
“This was a difficult decision shaped by thoughtful deliberation set against a truly unprecedented backdrop,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “IHSA Basketball is America’s Original March Madness, and we recognize that this tournament is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the competing teams, communities, and fans. Ultimately though, we have to put the health and safety of the students, along with the general public, ahead of the spectacle of the event. This is and remains a fluid situation. It is important that our member schools and fans understand that events outside any of our control could lead to further changes over the coming hours and days.”
Other games impacted include the Class 3A and 4A sectional, Super-Sectional and State Finals next weekend. The IHSA contests involving Debate, Drama and & Group Interpretation and Scholastic Bowl will be limited to competing students, coaches, and other essential personnel.
The longtime running St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Peoria was postponed amid concerns of COVID-19 spreading as well.
“The decisions regarding IHSA and the parade were critical with several points of influence involved in the final conclusion,” Mayor Jim Ardis said. “It is in the best interest of everyone that these measures are taken to minimize the potential to further spread COVID-19.”
According to Dr. Gregg Stoner, Medical Director for the Peoria City/County Health Department, no coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the area.
“With no COVID-19 cases identified in the region, it is still important to limit the spread of the virus with measures such as limiting or canceling larger-scale activities as an important preventative measure,” Stoner said. “This situation is evolving and being assessed continuously.”
The public is asked to continue to take the precautions that have been outlined by the CDC, including avoiding close contact with people who are sick, cleaning your hands often, covering coughs and sneezes, and continue to avoid touching your face. Also, those individuals that are high risk, are urged to take additional precautions to decrease exposure.
Anderson says full refunds for tickets already purchased will be available. Click here for the full news release.
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