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Nearly All LA County Youth Athletes To Be Required To Undergo Weekly COVID Testing

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Nearly all those taking part in youth sports in Los Angeles County will be required to undergo weekly coronavirus testing, according to new rules released Friday by the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

Banning vs San Pedro football in Wilmington, CA.
WILMINGTON, CA - APRIL 23, 2021: San Pedro defensive lineman Isaiah Howard (22) and San Pedro linebacker Kain Perris (17) get help from teammates to bering down Banning wide receiver Brandon Alvarez in the first half at Banning High School on April 23, 2021 in Wilmington, California.(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Weekly COVID-19 tests will be required for those involved in youth sports considered high-risk or moderate-risk.

High-risk sports include basketball, boxing, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, soccer, water polo and wrestling. Moderate risk sports include baseball, cheerleading, dance, dodgeball, field hockey, kickball, softball, tennis (doubles) and volleyball.

Testing must be performed within 48 hours of competition and results must be available before the competition begins.

Players, coaches and fans are also required to wear face coverings when indoors.

"All participants, regardless of vaccination status, (are required) to bring and wear masks," the new guidance states. "Youth sports participants must wear a face mask even while engaging in physical activity in any indoor setting."

The guidance provides an exception for water sports such as swimming, water polo, or diving, in which athletes may remove their face masks while they are in the water. Face masks must be worn when participants are not in the water.

Teams are also encouraged to adjust practices to diminish "sustained person-to-person contact" and focus instead on "skill-building activities," and to consider limiting the number of participants who visit the restroom or locker room at any given time.

Most high school sports in L.A. County were banned during the height of the pandemic in the fall and winter of the 2020-21 school year. They were allowed to resume in early March. Some high-contact sports briefly required COVID-19 testing during that time.

The Los Angeles Unified School District did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the updated regulations.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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