SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Citing declining COVID-19 infection rates, health officials in Santa Clara County announced additional outdoor activities would be allowed starting Friday, including youth sports.
Officials said in a statement that effective February 26, the county's health orders will be updated to allow for "a range of social and recreational outdoor activity to resume, including youth sports, performing arts, and enrichment activities." Restrictions would also be relaxed on outdoor gatherings "of all kinds."
The county said it would also follow the state's recently updated guidance on youth and recreational adult sports, paving the way for the resumption of many high school sports, including football. While Santa Clara County is in the Purple Tier as of Monday, the state's guidance allows for high-contact outdoor sports to be played in the Purple or Red tiers when case rates are less than 14 per 100,000 and with regular testing of coaches and participants.
"We recognize the toll of the pandemic on everyone's mental, physical, and spiritual health, and the need to balance the risk of COVID with other human needs," health officer Dr. Sara Cody said in a statement. "Children and adults alike need to participate in the many activities that support their mental, physical, and social wellbeing."
"We recognize the importance of all outdoor activities—athletic and non-athletic—to our health and are seeking to allow as much as we can given current levels of community transmission," Cody went on to say.
County officials said the revised directives would be posted in the coming days. Officials also stressed that the public should continue measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including mask wearing, physical distancing and getting vaccinated once eligible.
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