Only one county in the CIF Central Section has been cleared to play high school football

The California Department of Public Health released updated county-by-county COVID-19 case rate numbers on Tuesday, signaling which counties have been cleared to start playing high school football and other outdoor sports.

The five counties in the CIF Central Section each need an adjusted case rate equal to or less than 14 per 100,000 to resume playing outdoor high and moderate-contact sports. As of Tuesday afternoon, here are the counties that meet the case rate threshold and have been cleared to start playing outdoor high school sports:

(The Central Section’s five counties are listed below followed by a ‘YES‘ or ‘NO‘ denoting whether they have been cleared to play as of Feb. 23):

Madera County: 13.6, YES

Fresno County: 16.6, NO

Tulare County: 18.4, NO

Kern County: 18.5, NO

Kings County: 21.8, NO

Note: For the counties that did not meet the case rate threshold, they will have another chance on Tuesday, March 2 when the state’s county-by-county case rate data is updated.

The California Dept. of Public Health released updated youth sports guidance last Friday clearing a path for the return of high school sports. Read the state’s complete updated youth sports guidance here. The guidance includes a chart that puts sports in tiers and lists them by their risk from low contact outdoor to high contact indoor.

After the CDPH has cleared counties to play, individual private schools and school districts can choose to be more restrictive than the guidance and not allow a particular sport to be played due to safety concerns from COVID-19. It’s also important to remember that even if a sport is allowed by the CDPH, it still needs to be in season. In many counties, baseball got the green light to be played this week, but the sport won’t be in season in some Sections until March.

The Season 1 Sports in the Central Section are cross country, football, gymnastics, badminton, swimming/diving, girls volleyball and water polo.

The Season 2 Sports are baseball, basketball, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field and wrestling.

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