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 outdoors sports.
For the eight counties in the Southern Section to resume playing outdoor high and moderate-contact sports, their adjusted case rate has to be equal to or less than 14 per 100,000. As of Tuesday afternoon, here are the counties that meet the case rate threshold and have been cleared to start playing high school sports:
(The Southern Section’s 8 counties are listed below followed by a ‘YES‘ or ‘NO‘ denoting whether they have been cleared to play as of Feb. 23):
- Los Angeles County: Yes, 12.3
- Orange County: Yes, 11.9
- San Luis Obispo County (not every school in the county is in the Southern Section): Yes, 9.4
- Riverside County: No, 16.6
- San Bernardino County: No, 15.2
- Kern County (one school): No, 18.5
- Ventura County: No, 16.9
- Santa Barbara County: No, 16.9
Last Friday, the California Dept. of Public Health released updated youth sports guidelines. According to the guidance, outdoor high-contact sports, such as football and water polo, can be played in counties in the purple and red tiers as long as the counties have an adjusted case rate at or below 14 per 100,000. The guidance goes into effect on Feb. 26, but the per 100,000 metrics used to determine if counties will be in the clear by the 26th were released Tuesday.
Read the 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. All outdoor high school sports can begin when they’re in season in the Section and counties within the Section are at an adjusted COVID-19 case rate at or below 14 per 100,000. Outdoor low-contact sports can start whenever they’re in season, regardless of the per 100,000 metrics.
Remember, 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. In the Southern Section, baseball got the green light to be played this week in some counties, but the sport won’t be in season until March, so it will start then.
The Season 1 Sports in the 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.
The Southern Section Office released a statement on Tuesday following the updated adjusted case rate statistics: