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Kern County meets threshold for resumption of youth sports

Kern County Public Health Services Department

The recently updated State guidance allows for all outdoor youth and adult recreational sports, including moderate-contact and high-contact sports, to resume practice, training and competitions in counties where the case rate is at or below 14 cases per 100,000 population. Since Kern County’s adjusted case rate is now at 13.3 cases per 100,000, youth sports may resume competition immediately in accordance with this new guidance.

The State’s guidance applies to all organized youth and adult sports, including school and community-sponsored programs, and privately organized clubs and leagues. Under the updated guidance, outdoor high-contact and moderate-contact sport competitions may resume in the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy’s Red (Substantial) tier and Purple (Widespread) tier, with modifications, including testing requirements for certain outdoor high-contact sports.

Kern County remains in the Purple tier, which requires football, rugby and water polo participants age 13 and over to test weekly in order to resume competition. Weekly testing, either antigen or PCR, is required for all participants and coaches in these sports, with results made available within 24 hours of competition. Football, rugby and water polo are high-contact sports that are likely to be played unmasked, with close, face-to-face contact exceeding 15 minutes. Outdoor moderate-contact sports, such as baseball, cheerleading and softball, can be played without the testing requirement.

Due to the nature and risk of transmission while participating in these sports outside of their established tiers, teams must provide information regarding risk to all parents/guardians of minors participating, and each parent shall sign an informed consent indicating their understanding and acknowledgement of the risks.

Tournaments or events involving more than two teams are not authorized except as outlined in the guidance. Inter-team competitions, meets, races or similar events are permitted only if both teams are located in the same county or in a bordering county. Teams are limited to one competition per day.

All sports resuming play must follow the steps outlined in the guidance to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission. This includes wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing, and appropriate hand hygiene and equipment sanitation.

View the updated State guidance document here: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/outdoor-indoor-recreational-sports.aspx

For updated information on COVID-19, visit our website: http://www.kernpublichealth.com.