New COVID-19 Guidelines for Sports Travel go into Effect


A child spits into a tube during a saliva COVID-19 testing session at the Niederau school in Strasbourg, France. These types of spit tests are being used at many high schools and universities across the world, including University of Illinois and EHS.

Grace McGinness, Sports Editor

Normal sports seasons are back, away tournaments and all, but what may appear to be completely normal again, may not be.

All student athletes in District 7 traveling more than 60 miles for an activity are now required to be vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test to participate.

On Aug. 10, the Illinois Department of Health released its updated set of Youth Sports Safety Guidelines. They recommend “…unless all participants are fully vaccinated. Individuals should be tested for COVID-19 and receive a negative result as close as possible to competition and, preferably, within 24 hours before play.” 

But these are just guidelines, not mandates.

The decision to implement this policy in District 7 schools was put in place by the new District 7 Superintendent, Dr. Patrick Shelton, and began the week of Sept. 6, according to Dr. Steven Stuart, EHS principal.

Rapid tests are being used 24 hours before the event, as suggested by the IDPH for all unvaccinated participants.

Athletes were first notified by their coaches on the guidelines. 

Cross country and volleyball were the first EHS sports affected by this system for cross country’s Sept. 11 meet in Peoria and volleyball’s Sept. 10 tournament in Effingham. 

Tenth grader and cross country runner Ben Perulfi, who had to get tested for cross country’s Sept. 11 meet, said he thinks people should have had a say on the new rule before it was implemented at EHS. 

“I personally don’t like the fact that I have to get tested [for races], but I understand why I had to,” he said.