California Releases Guidance for Youth Sports, School Reopening Waivers

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California’s Department of Public Health has released details on youth sports guidance and a waiver process for TK-6 schools to apply to reopen for in-person instruction in the counties that are on the state’s COVID-19 watch list.

To submit an application for reopening, the state is requiring schools and administrators consult with parents or community organizations at each site before doing so.

Reopening plans must consider cleaning practices, hygiene procedures, face coverings, groupings of students and staff, contact tracing, physical distancing and readiness to changeover to distance learning if cases surge.

Application

"COVID-19 continues to spread in California, and to help slow transmission we must focus on basic public health guidelines to protect our families, our communities, and our students from the virus," said Dr. Sonia Angell, State Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health. "Today’s guidance ensures that critical public health measures are in place to reduce risk in a number of educational and youth settings."

The release said a local health officer will discuss each application with CDPH officials before approval.

For youth sports: "Outdoor and indoor sporting events, assemblies, and other activities that require close contact or that would promote congregating, such as tournaments and competitions, are not permitted at this time." The guidelines did clarify that sports and physical education activities are allowed only if participants are able to separate by the recommended six feet and if a "stable cohort of participants" is attainable.

Guidelines suggest outdoor activities as much as possible.

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