Editor’s note: Scots Valley Little League is working on a safety plan for COVID-19 as part of preparing for a possible Spring 2021 season. Details of the COVID-19 safety plan will be posted at www.scottsvalleyll.org when it becomes available.
On Feb. 19, the California Department of Public Health released updated guidance for youth and recreational adult sports, which allows high-contact and moderate-contact sport competitions to resume outdoors in the Red Tier and Purple Tier with weekly COVID-19 testing required for football, rugby and water polo.
The guidance applies to all organized youth and adult sports, including school and community-sponsored programs, and privately organized clubs and leagues.
“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. “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.”
The guidance aims to giving communities guidelines on how to safely remain physically active while reducing virus transmission.
Outdoor high-contact sports can be played in counties in the Purple or Red tier with a COVID case rate at or below 14 per 100,000.
Santa Cruz County is in the Purple Tier, with a case rate of 8.6 per 100,000; the case rate has declined since Christmas
Football, rugby and water polo are high-contact sports likely to be played unmasked, with close face-to-face contact exceeding 15 minutes. As a result, weekly testing is required for football, rugby and water polo players age 13 and over in counties with a case rate between 7 and 14 per 100,000. Weekly testing, antigen or PCR, is required for all players and coaches, with results available within 24 hours of competition.
Outdoor moderate-contact sports, such as baseball, cheerleading and softball, can be played in these counties without testing.
Teams must provide information regarding risk of transmission to all parents/guardians of minors participating, and each parent must sign an informed consent indicating their understanding and acknowledgement of the risks.
Any teams playing in a less restrictive sports tier are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings, and practice physical distancing, hand hygiene and equipment sanitation.
For details on examples of sports with different levels of contact and risk by tier, see www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/outdoor-indoor-recreational-sports.aspx
For information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit www.covid19.ca.gov.