The Office of the California Governor and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently released guidance on youth sports, but left key questions unanswered. The Humboldt County Joint Information Center (JIC) is working with the state to clarify requirements.
The state’s Youth Sports guidance outlines the following requirements: Indoor and outdoor sporting events, assemblies, tournaments, competitions and other activities that promote gathering are not allowed at this time, whether or not teams are from the same school or from different schools, counties or states. Physical distancing must be maintained at all times, and all sports must maintain a stable cohort, such as a class.
Sports that cannot maintain physical distance at all times are not allowed. Participants should conduct activities outside to the maximum extent possible. Avoid equipment sharing, and if unavoidable, clean and disinfect shared equipment between use by different people. Facial coverings must be worn during all indoor conditioning and training, physical education classes and other sports activities.
High exertion activities must take place outdoors, with social distancing and without facial coverings. Adult amateur sports are not allowed at this time.
Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich said this guidance, while long awaited, is light on specific details.
“The state describes general risk factors and provides an outline for sports activities, but unlike other industry sectors, Youth Sports lacks specifics that would allow us to set up a process under which people can apply to organize these sorts of activities,” she said.
The JIC has asked the state for more information about requirements for cohort size, adult supervision and shared food and drink dispensers in addition to requesting clarification on scrimmages.
Once those answers are received, the guidance will be incorporated into an online application under which organizations can apply, similar to the business reopening plan process.
“We can all agree that our number one priority has to be keeping kids and, by extension, their families as safe as possible in these settings,” Dr. Frankovich said. “Organizers of our local sports leagues and activities will play an important role in limiting spread just like schools or any other institution entrusted to care for children.”
To read available guidance, visit https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-youth-sports—en.pdf. CDPH has compiled frequently asked questions here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Youth-Sports-FAQ.aspx.