Bay Area counties allowed to resume outdoor youth sports

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — All Bay Area counties can resume outdoor youth sports starting Friday, Feb. 26, state officials announced on Friday.

To pass the threshold, COVID-19 case rates must be at or below 14 per 100,000 people in the county. This means any county in the Purple tier of reopening is eligible.

“I’m very excited about where we are today, and I’m excited about the future,” coach Patrick Walsh said.

There are other contingencies, like weekly testing for high-contact sports such as football, rugby and water polo. This is for players who are ages 13 and older in counties with an average of 7-14 daily cases per 100,000 people.

“For those that are in counties that meet the case rate of 14 or below, and you’re in that sport that is approved, I want you to celebrate. You deserve it. You have worked so hard for this,” Brad Hensley said.

Results for the tests have to be shared within 24 hours of competition, according to KRON4’s capitol correspondent, Ashley Zavala.

“Youth sports are important to our children’s physical and mental health, and our public health approach has worked to balance those benefits against COVID-19 risks,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “With case rates and hospitalizations declining across California, we are allowing outdoor competition to resume, with modifications and steps to reduce risk, in counties where case rates are lower.”

Baseball, cheerleading and softball will not have the testing requirement.

Here are the California health department’s general safety rules for sports during the pandemic:

  • Face coverings to be worn when not participating in the activity (e.g., on the sidelines).
  • Face coverings to be worn by coaches, support staff and observers at all times, and in compliance with the CDPH Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings.
  • Observers maintain at least 6 feet from non-household members.
  • No sharing of drink bottles and other personal items and equipment.
  • Mixing with other households prior to and post any practice or competition must strictly adhere to current gathering guidance.
  • Limit indoor sports activities (practice, conditioning) to comply with capacity limits (which shall include all athletes, coaches, and observers) indicated in current CDPH Gym & Fitness Center Guidance Capacity.
  • Associated indoor activities for the team (e.g., dinners, film study) are prohibited if engaged in competition given evidence that transmission is more likely to occur in these indoor higher risk settings.
  • Teams must not participate in out-of-state games and tournaments; several multistate outbreaks have been reported around the nation, including California residents.

The allowances comes a week after the state faced pressure from parents, kids and coaches to let them play.

A group of them rallied in Sacramento and also sent 10,000 personal letters to Governor Gavin Newsom, pleading for him to allow youth and high school sports to resume.

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