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Texas UIL Updates COVID-19 Risk Guidelines Following Mask Update

March 5, 2021 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
The Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL) recently shared updates to its risk mitigation guidelines following Governor Greg Abbott announced an immediate rollback of its statewide mask mandate.

Earlier this week, Gov. Abbott announced he’s lifting the statewide mask mandate, put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Gov. Abbott said businesses of any type will be allowed to be 100 percent open starting on March 10.

uil“Too many Texans have been sidelined from employment opportunities. Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills. This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100%,” he said earlier in the week.
In response, the UIL made the following changes to its risk mitigation guidelines:
  • Consistent with Texas Education Agency (TEA) guidance, school system governing boards may modify or eliminate mask-related requirements
  • Schools may determine spectator capacity and seating arrangements for UIL events
  • Other updates consistent with TEA guidance.

“Schools should take their local context into account and follow all state requirements when considering UIL activities. UIL recommends that schools consult with their local public health authorities and local legal counsel before making final decisions regarding the implementation of this guidance,” the UIL said in an issued press release.

According to a report from the Dallas Morning News, other high school athletic associations, like the Texas Association of Private & Parochial Schools (TAPPS) and Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) have also responded to Gov. Abbott’s latest announcement.

TAPPS executive director Bryan Bunselmeyer told The Dallas Morning News that COVID-19 guidelines for next week’s state basketball championships at College Station High School and A&M Consolidated High School on March 12-13 haven’t been finalized yet. That includes a potential mask requirement as well as capacity limits.

In the past, TAPPS has limited attendance to a maximum of 50% capacity and has required all fans to have masks.

SPC commissioner Bob Windham told The Dallas Morning News that he doesn’t expect much to change moving forward in regard to conference guidelines.

“I would assume we are going to stick with what we’re doing. I will have to get with everybody and make sure that we feel comfortable with that, but if I was a betting man, I would say our heads of school are going to keep them on at school and they are going to keep them on the same way we’ve done it for athletic contests,” Windham said to the paper. “We’re in it for the kids’ health and safety.”

To read the full report from the Dallas Morning News, click here