Governor gives green light for youth sports with restrictions; Kern still ineligible for now

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — State leaders say youth and adult organized sports can resume as early as next Friday, but only in counties with 14 or fewer coronavirus cases per 100,000 people. Kern County’s adjusted case rate nearly doubles that, making it unlikely local athletes will hit the field any time soon.

“Youth sports are important to our children’s physical and mental health, and our public health approach has worked to balance those benefits against COVID-19 risks,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “With case rates and hospitalizations declining across California, we are allowing outdoor competition to resume, with modifications and steps to reduce risk, in counties where case rates are lower.”

Under the new guidance, the state says weekly testing will be required for athletes 13 and older playing football, rugby and water polo in counties with a case rate between 7 and 14 per 100,000. Coaches will have to be tested in these sports as well, and will be required to make their results available within 24 hours of games. Athletes taking part in baseball, cheerleading and softball do not have to adhere to this testing requirement.

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