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Update on Spectator Guidance
In the last 10 months, I have written several time to you most often with bad news. Today I have some good news! We just received word from the IDPH that spectators sitting across from the participant bench may be 12 ft. from the playing space. Here is the email we received:

"Sports organizers or venues should configure space to ensure there is at least 30 feet social distance between spectators and participants or, in the case 30 feet is not practicable for the venue, spectators are seated on the opposite side of the playing space (e.g., field, court) from participants not actively engaged in play and at a distance of least 12 feet from the playing space. If there is no seating opposite, seat spectators at least 12 feet from the playing space."

I hope the following clears up many questions in terms of what does 12 ft. mean from the playing space? Here is the interpretation we received:

"Imagine a 12-foot buffer around the playing space. Spectators should be seated in bleachers or other seating beyond that 12 foot buffer."

Please see #6 under Physical Workspace on this updated All Sports Policy document:

https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/sports-safety-guidance

As you all know, the 30 ft. distance rule was guideline contained in the All Sports Policy that is written and published by the IDPH and the DCEO. All we (IESA) could do is share the information with you (as we did) but unfortunately the 30 ft. rule caused a lot of time, meetings, and frustration as you tried to figure a way to allow spectators and abide by the guidelines. Many of you expressed concern as did parents. We agree that the 30 ft. guideline made it very difficult to allow spectators and abide by the rule. But, we did not write the guidelines and could not say to you, "ignore the guidance." That would not have been prudent and could have caused liability issues if something unforeseen would have happened. We did express those concerns to IDPH and I am happy they listened and were receptive to a change.

With this news, I hope you are able to accommodate spectators within the guidance.

Sincerely,

Steve Endsley
Executive Director
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