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Heading Back To The Gridiron As State Relaxes COVID Youth Sport Rules

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Sacramento, CA – Are you ready for some football –come Friday (Feb. 26) teams can hit the gridiron once again in the Mother Lode.

Noting that case rates and hospitalizations are declining across the state, California public health officials loosened the rules for youth sports on Friday. The new guidelines allow all outdoor play to resume in counties where COVID-19 case rates are at or below 14 people per 100,000. Also, sanctioned are sports like baseball, softball, gymnastics, and cheerleading for at least 27 counties, even in some of the most restrictive tier designations.

State health department officials relayed these counties rates fit the guidelines: Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Del Norte, El Dorado, Humboldt, Imperial, Lassen, Marin, Mariposa, Modoc, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Trinity, Tuolumne, and Yolo.

Sports with high-contact, like football, basketball and rugby, require all coaches and players 13 and older to get tested once a week with results available within 24 hours of competition.

The rules do not apply to collegiate or professional sports or “community events,” which include marathons and other endurance races. All organized sports for kids and adults, including schools and community-sponsored programs fall under the new guidelines. It requires all coaches and spectators to wear masks at all times and athletes when on the sidelines.

The state will pay for the tests stated Gov. Gavin Newsom yesterday, noting that the new guidelines were developed in partnership with many organizations, including the Let Them Play coalition while thanking them “for their strong advocacy.”

“We are now confident…we can get youth sports moving again in the state of California,” added Newsom.

Click here for the new rules.

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