Kern County now meets state threshold allowing youth sports to resume


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern County now has a low enough COVID-19 case rate that all outdoor youth and adult sports can immediately resume under state guidance. 

The Kern County Public Health Services Department said all sports — including high-contact sports — can resume practice, training and competition now that the county has met the state criteria of having a positive case rate of 14 per 100,000 people or lower. 

Today, the state announced that Kern County has an adjusted rate of 13.3 per 100,000, just under the threshold.

The state’s guidance applies to all organized youth and adult sports, including school and community-sponsored programs as well as privately organized clubs and leagues. Under the guidance, outdoor sports competitions may resume with modifications, including testing requirements for certain high-contact sports. 

Kern County Public Health said as the county remains in the purple tier, football, rugby and water polo participants age 13 and over must test weekly in order to resume competition. Weekly testing is required for all participants and coaches in these sports, with results made available within 24 hours of competition, the department said. 

Outdoor moderate-contact sports — such as baseball, cheerleading and softball — can be played without the testing requirement, according to KCPH. 

Tournaments or events involving more than two teams are not authorized except as outlined in the guidance. Inter-team competitions, meets, races or similar events are permitted only if both teams are located in the same county or in a bordering county. 

Teams are limited to one competition per day, according to the guidance. All sports resuming play must follow the steps outlined in the guidance to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission. This includes wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing, and appropriate hand hygiene and equipment sanitation.

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