School classes and athletic competitions will not resume in Illinois for the remainder of the current school year to continue social distancing against coronavirus.


Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently announced all Illinois public and private schools will remain closed for the remaining weeks of the 2019-20 school year. The Illinois High School Association also decided last week all spring sports tournaments have been canceled and all summer contact activities suspended until state government and medical experts decide such group gatherings are safe, which could have an effect on football and other fall sports.


With the spread of COVID-19 continuing in Illinois, both decisions are based on the health risks to students, athletes, coaches and spectators if classes resume and athletic practices and contests started up again. The lockdown of schools and postponement of athletics started in March and there was hope both restrictions could end by April 30. Many school districts had been canceling or postponing other activities like proms, awards ceremonies, spring concerts and graduations. It is uncertain for now when some of those events can be rescheduled, especially graduations for seniors.


School districts across the state have been dealing with the order through remote learning efforts. There have also been efforts to provide meals to students with school cafeterias closed.


With no clear sign of when COVID-19 will peak in Illinois, the extension of the closures was considered inevitable. On Thursday, April 23, Gov. Pritzker announced he would extend the statewide stay-at-home order to May 30 and relaxed some restrictions on businesses and state parks.