By Debra Moore
The state released new sports guidelines that go into effect this Friday, Feb. 26, which will allow a return to high school and other organized sports.
Plumas Unified School District Superintendent Terry Oestreich said that she will be meeting with the Plumas County Public Health Agency today and high school principals tomorrow, Feb. 23, to develop a plan. “Each principal will release their own message,” Oestreich said. “Each community engagement most likely will be different.”
Plumas County is in the red tier, which will allow for outdoor competition. Full details can be found on the state’s COVID-19 website regarding sports.
Based on state guidance, local high school athletes would be able to participate in softball, baseball, tennis, skiing, cross country, golf, swimming, track and field, cheerleading and volleyball, among other sports.
Plumas News will post specific plans as they become available.
The new state guidance applies to all organized youth sports and recreation including school- and community-sponsored programs, and privately-organized clubs and leagues, and adult recreational sports. This guidance does not apply to collegiate or professional sports, nor does it apply to community events.
According to state guidance: “Outdoor activities present significantly lower risk of transmission relative to comparative indoor activities, based on current scientific evidence. Competition between different teams also increases mixing across groups and outside of communities, which also contributes to the potential for spread of COVID-19 disease.”
The state divides sports into three categories. Plumas is in the red tier, which allows for outdoor low-contact and moderate-contact sports.
Individual or small group sports where contact within six feet of other participants can be avoided. Some of these sports have relatively low exertion rates that allow for consistent wearing of face coverings when within six feet of other people.
Team sports that can be played with only incidental or intermittent close contact between participants.
Team sports with frequent or sustained close contact (and in many cases, face-to-face contact) between participants and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants.
General requirements for all sports:
Irrespective of setting (outdoor or indoor) case rate or sport played, the following general guidance requirements must be adhered to at all times:
- Face coverings to be worn when not participating in the activity (e.g., on the sidelines).
- Face coverings to be worn by coaches, support staff and observers at all times, and in compliance with the CDPH rules
- Observers maintain at least 6 feet from non-household members.
- No sharing of drink bottles and other personal items and equipment.
- Mixing with other households prior to and post any practice or competition must strictly adhere to current gathering guidance.
- Limit indoor sports activities (practice, conditioning) to comply with capacity limits (which shall include all athletes, coaches, and observers) indicated in current CDPH Gym & Fitness Center Guidance Capacity.
- Associated indoor activities for the team (e.g., dinners, film study) are prohibited if engaged in competition given evidence that transmission is more likely to occur in these indoor higher risk settings.
- Teams must not participate in out-of-state games and tournaments; several multistate outbreaks have been reported around the nation, including California residents.