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Unlike Illinois Youth Sport Restrictions, Kids In Indiana Can Play Ball, ‘To Proceed As Planned’

CHICAGO (CBS) —    While high school sports are limited in Illinois, they are going forward in the neighboring state of Indiana.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports from Lake Central High School with at look at how that’s playing out in one district.

There are state decisions to move ahead with high school sports, but local districts can take stricter measures. When it comes to high school sports in the Hoosier state, let’s start with a tweet last week from the Indiana High School Sports Association reading “high school fall sports are on track to proceed as planned.”

The extensive directives include face coverings “when not engaging in vigorous activity” and screenings for COVID-19 signs and symptoms. But in her list of back to school recommendations,Lake County’s Health Officer Doctor Chandana Vavilala writes “it is strongly recommended that fall contact sports be cancelled to decrease the spread of the virus among athletes, communities and schools.”

Other infectious disease doctors in Lake County, because of the close contact and exposure to bodily fluids, agree.

“I think it’s ill advised,” said Dr. Erica Kaufman West of Franciscan Health. “I think at this point in student athletes careers with school around the corner getting ahead of ourselves and starting with sports is the riskiest move to make.”

There was a plan to suspend extracurricular programs at Lake Central High School on Monday’s school board agenda, but it was removed, reportedly because of a lack of support.  Currently, Lake County’s seven-day positivity rate is 7.2%.

“It’s sort of a recipe for disaster,” said Kaufman West.

At last count, 11 athletic programs in northwest Indiana have suspended workouts for at least one sport. About six others had suspended workouts but since resumed.

“We as adults have to make the difficult decisions to say this is not in the best interest of these students right now,” Kaufman West said.

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