The California Department of Public Health released updated county-by-county COVID-19 case rate numbers on Tuesday, March 2, updating the list of counties that are cleared to start playing high school football and other outdoor sports.
For the eight counties in the Southern Section to resume playing outdoor high and moderate-contact sports, their adjusted case rates have to be equal to or less than 14 per 100,000. As of Tuesday afternoon, all eight counties now meet the case rate threshold and have been cleared to start playing high school sports:
(The Southern Section’s eight counties are listed below followed by their adjusted case rates per 14,000):
- Los Angeles County: 7.2
- Orange County: 7.6
- San Luis Obispo County (not every school in the county is in the Southern Section): 6.8
- Riverside County: 11.3
- San Bernardino County: 9
- Kern County (one school): 13.6
- Ventura County: 10.6
- Santa Barbara County: 13
Now that the counties have been cleared by the state, each school district will need to give the green light as well. Just because the California Dept. of Public Health allows outdoor sports to be played, counties, individual private schools and/or 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. For example, in the Southern Section, baseball got the green light to be played last week in some counties, but the sport won’t be in season until later in March so it can’t start quite yet.
The Season 1 Sports in the Southern Section are cross country, field hockey, football, gymnastics, traditional competitive cheer, girls volleyball and water polo. The Season 2 Sports in the Section are badminton, baseball, basketball, competitive sport cheer, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming/diving, tennis, track and field and wrestling.