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Masks now optional for court and ice sports at IL


November 18, 2021
MEREDITH Inter-Lakes athletes will have the option of wearing masks or not while playing on the court or on the ice, though mask requirements will be in place for other places.

The Inter-Lakes School Board unanimously approved making masks optional on the court and on the ice during the Nov. 9 board meeting.

Superintendent Mary Moriarty said the topic was discussed by a meeting of the district's COVID team when it was mentioned that few to no schools in their division required basketball and hockey players to wear their masks while playing. Moriarty said the main issue was how both basketball and hockey have large cardiovascular demands.

Under the new rule, masks would still be required by both Inter-Lakes and opposing athletes on the sidelines, in the locker room, and during transportation. Spectators would also be required to wear masks at Inter-Lakes games and if at a game on another campus that requires it.

Masks will continue to be optional for students playing outdoor sports. Masks were optional for football and soccer, Moriarty said that worked out well and the practice will continue for Nordic skiing and other outdoor winter sports.

Moriarty said the district is also looking at the option for optional COVID-19 screenings for different groups. A bunch of samples would be taken from a group and tested. If the group test is positive further testing will be done on individuals in the group.

"That's kind of on a beginning stage of looking at that," Moriarty said. "That might be a possibility for us providing another layer of mitigation."

Board member Howard Cunningham said the superintendent was the one that moved this proposal along and talked about the importance of these efforts.

"We've gotten this far in a year with in-person learning largely through this kind of effort," Cunningham said. "I think it deserves to be recognized and I think it deserves to be recognized as one of the major reasons that is the process that the district has gone through in making these decisions."

The board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the revised mask policy for athletes.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
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