COVID-19 protocol for two Tazewell County teams postpones high school basketball games

·3 min read

COVID-19 protocols postponed a pair of Mid-Illini Conference high school basketball games.

Metamora's boys game with East Peoria scheduled for Saturday has been postponed. The news was announced shortly after 12:30 p.m. Thursday via the Metamora boys basketball Twitter account. A makeup date will be announced later, the program said.

The Tazewell County Health Department said there was a positive test for COVID-19 on the East Peoria basketball team.

"We have several players out for close contact which prompted us to make the decision to postpone our games for precautionary reasons," East Peoria athletics director and head coach Jon Grzanich said via email.

East Peoria plays again on Dec. 17 at Dunlap, while Metamora takes the court against visiting Limestone on Friday, Dec. 10.

The Pekin girls basketball game versus Dunlap was called off just before 3 p.m. Thursday, according to the Pekin High School Twitter account. The school said a makeup date will be announced in the coming days.

"The game was cancelled due to COVID issues," Pekin Community High School Superintendent Danielle Owens said in an email. "We are working to reschedule this. No other comment will be given."

More: Princeville athletic programs shut down because of surge in COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 in Tazewell County

None of these school districts will be forced to pause in-person learning, unlike Princeville School District 326, which saw a surge in COVID-19 cases, forcing remote learning and the cancellation/postponement of extracurricular activities until Dec. 7.

As of Thursday, Tazewell County had seen 723 new, confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the last week, according to the county health department. The county has also recorded a 23% increase of people under home isolation since Thanksgiving — a number that has risen by 134 to 716 during that same span. A total of 18 people were being hospitalized within the county Thursday, an increase from 13 a week ago.

Five deaths, all senior citizens in their 70s and 80s, were recorded in that timeframe.

As of Thursday night, Pekin will still welcome Washington as scheduled for a 1 p.m. Saturday tip. Dunlap travels next to Mt. Vernon on Saturday for the Southern Illinois Classic, facing O'Fallon at 2:30 p.m.

More: 6 takeaways from Peoria-area high school basketball Thanksgiving tournaments

Health department works with schools

Sara Sparkman, a spokesperson for the Tazewell County Health Department, said health officials have given schools guidance on COVID-19 protocols.

If an outbreak were to occur among athletes, Sparkman said the athletic director of that school would be in contact with the health department's school liaison to discuss how to proceed.

Sparkman said the health department was made aware of a positive test on the East Peoria basketball team but that was the only contact made between the school and health department on the matter. Schools do not have to get clearance from the health department to cancel games.

"We've educated schools pretty well," Sparkman said. "They call us when they have questions, we call them when we have questions."

Adam Duvall is a Journal Star sports reporter. Email him at aduvall@pjstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamDuvall. Pekin Times reporter Mike Kramer contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on Journal Star: IHSA basketball: COVID-19 protocol postpones Pekin, East Peoria games

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting