High school football and other outdoor sports will be allowed to resume play across many parts of the state for the first time in nearly a year, the state Department of Public Health announced Friday morning.
Football, baseball, softball, soccer, water polo and lacrosse are among the sports allowed to begin competition next Friday in counties in the state’s purple and red tiers, as long as the counties have a case rate at or below 14 per 100,000.
According to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, the county’s adjusted case rate for the past three days was under 25 per 100,000.
Weekly testing requirements will also be put in place for high-contact sports, including football, rugby and water polo. The testing requirement will not be required for moderate-contact sports, such as baseball, cheerleading and softball.
Regular protections include wearing masks, physical distancing, hand washing and equipment sanitation. Each player’s parent or guardian must sign an informed consent acknowledging risks in order to play.
According to Gov. Newsom, 19 counties are currently eligible to resume high-contact outdoor sports next Friday. It’s possible several more will be eligible when the latest county metrics are released on Monday. Gov. Newsom also said the state will pay for the cost associated with regular testing of high school athletes.
— Mitchell White