The California Department of Public Health on Friday released new updates to its guidance for youth and high school sports, allowing play to resume across many parts of California if certain health and safety protocols are met.
The updated guidance will now allow outdoor, high-contact sports in counties in the more restrictive purple and red tiers of the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system to commence if they meet the case rate requirements.
According to the CDPH, sports such as football, baseball, softball, soccer, water polo and lacrosse are allowed to begin next Friday, Feb. 26 in any county with a case rate of fewer than 14 new daily cases per 100,000 residents. Weekly testing for coaches and athletes ages 13 and older will also be required for outdoor contact sports.
As of Feb. 18, Orange County reported a seven-day average adjusted daily case rate of 16.8 per 100,000, with a testing positivity rate of 6.8 percent and an equity positivity rate of 9 percent. At this time, the county doesn’t meet the threshold requirements for resuming play for outdoor contact sports. However, public health officials say that numbers are trending in the right direction.
And here are some other stories we are following this week.
- The Disneyland Resort Super POD site this week closed temporarily due to vaccine shipping delays caused by severe cold weather that has affected many parts of the country.
- The Anaheim Convention Center will become Orange County’s third mass vaccine site, increasing vaccine dispensing capacity as more people are due to receive a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- In similar news, county health officials this week also opened a full-time COVID-19 vaccination site on the campus of Santa Ana College. The smaller site is said to target Orange County’s neighborhoods hit hardest by the virus.
- Los Angeles County public health officials announced that elementary schools would be permitted to reopen for in-class instruction for students in transitional kindergarten through the sixth grade as early as this week.
- And, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced a collaboration with the Los Angeles Rams, Hollywood Park and the city of Inglewood to operate a large-scale vaccination site on the grounds of SoFi Stadium that could serve teachers and school staff in L.A. County.
- Long Beach Unified this week announced school reopening plans, although it will be nearly six weeks before any students will return for regular in-person instruction, and even then on a part-time basis.
- California’s public health department published a new appeal process that would allow schools to potentially reopen if they do not qualify under the state’s current school reopening guidance — if they believed they qualified under the state’s old guidance, which expired Jan. 14.
- Governor Gavin Newsom plans to kick-start more programs for transitional kindergarten by offering grants to school districts totaling $250 million as an incentive to develop and expand programs.
- Irvine’s University High School earned top honors after finishing first in the Orange County Academic Decathlon. Woodbridge High School, also in the Irvine Unified School District, took second place after winning the previous four years.
- And finally, the nation’s top public health agency released updated guidance for reopening schools, including new indicators and thresholds for returning students to classrooms.
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