The state has rolled back restrictions for COVID from Tier 3 to Tier 2 in Regions 1, 2, 5 – counties to the far north and south of the state.

But nothing has changed for Region 6, which includes Coles and several other surrounding counties that stretch to Champaign to Piatt and Richland.

Low-risk sports in Tier 2 areas, such as boys swimming, bowling and badminton, can practice immediately and compete within their geographic areas, the IHSA announced Friday afternoon.

Spring and summer sports for schools located in Tier 2 regions may begin contact days Monday as well as weight training.

But sports in this region remain paused.

Boys and girls basketball are the lone high-risk winter sports.

“This is certainly positive news for three regions of the state, but we still have a long way to go until we get all of our student-athletes back to being active,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “High school student-athletes are hurting from a mental, physical, and emotional standpoint, so we hope this is the first step toward getting that back to some normalcy.”

The IHSA Board of Directors is expected to set competition start dates for low-risk winter sports prior to its next meeting on Jan. 27.