CA loosens rules for youth sports during COVID-19 pandemic

Renée C. Byer/The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool, File

Governor Gavin Newsom announced California will loosen rules for youth sports during the coronavirus pandemic on Friday morning.

Starting Monday, February 26, all Bay Area counties can resume outdoor youth sports. In order to participate, COVID-19 case rates must be at or below 14 per 100,000 people in the county, meaning any country in the “Purple” tier is eligible.

“We are now confident with new guidelines we are publishing today we can get youth sports moving again in the state of California,” Newsom said.

The news comes after the state received pressure from kids, coaches and parents to let them play.

“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…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.” Said Dr. Tomás Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer.

Here are the California health department’s general safety rules for sports during the pandemic, reported by KRON4:

  • 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.

Watch the full press conference here.

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