Santa Ana, Calif. (February 25, 2021) — Based on updated guidance for youth and recreational adult sports issued February 19, 2021 by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), outdoor sports competitions may resume in Orange County (OC) with modifications starting Feb. 26, 2021.
“Orange County has lowered its COVID-19 case rate of less than 14 per 100,000 thanks to our communities’ diligence in helping slow the spread and the County’s vaccination efforts,” said Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors Andrew Do, who represents the First District. “Per the State’s guidance, this means certain outdoor sport competitions can resume once again. Something that many families have been looking forward to for months now.”
The State’s guidance applies to all organized youth and adult sports, including school and community-sponsored programs, and privately organized clubs and leagues. Outdoor sport competitions may resume in Purple Tier counties including OC with modifications that include testing requirements for certain outdoor high-contact sports. Outdoor moderate-contact sports, such as baseball, cheerleading and softball, can be played in OC without the testing requirement.
“As a strong supporter of youth sports, I’m very happy to see that students can compete in sports again,” said Vice Chairman Doug Chaffee, Fourth District. “Our children deserve to return to a sense of normalcy and allowing youth sports to resume is an important step in achieving that goal.”
Youth and adult sports include varied activities that have different levels of risk for transmission of COVID-19 depending on the physical contact between players. Outdoor activities that allow for consistent wearing of face coverings and physical distancing are lower risk than indoor activities that involve close contact between participants and high exertion that increases spread of exhaled particles.
“I applaud this move; it’s a small and overdue step. Society will be healthier if children can engage in outdoor activities. Competition for our kids is critical to them developing and testing their skills fully, both physical and emotional,” said Supervisor Don Wagner, Third District. “I continue to fight for my constituents getting back to normal. We’ve seen how mental health has taken a hit due to the lockdowns. California is the only state to have such restrictions, and it’s past time to let them play.”
“I am very excited that our youth, who have been anxiously waiting for months to get back to competitive sports, now have the opportunity to compete,” said Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District. “I have always been a strong supporter of exploring all options that would allow our youth to safely resume outdoor sporting activities.”
For more information on examples of sports with different levels of contact and risk by tier, please click here.