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California loosens rules for youth sports during pandemic

New guidance released Friday says all outdoor sports can resume in counties where COVID-19 case rates are at or below 14 people per 100,000.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California public health officials have loosened the rules for youth sports to be played during the pandemic. 

New guidance released Friday says all outdoor sports can resume in counties where COVID-19 case rates are at or below 14 people per 100,000. 

This could mean that 27 counties in California can once again play youth organized sports, including school and community programs, and privately-organized clubs and leagues. 

Twenty seven counties that are currently eligible would have to hold on to their case rates at or below 14 people per 100,000 until next week. The biggest is Santa Clara county, which includes the city of San Jose. An additional 16 counties have case rates between 14 and 20 people per 100,000. Some counties that could be eligible in the Sacramento region include Yolo, Placer and El Dorado counties.  

High contact sports like football, basketball and rugby, can resume if all players 13 and older get tested once per week. That testing requirement also applies to coaches. 

According to Let Them Play California, once a county passes the requirements, it will be be allowed to finish any sports that started, so athletes don't have to worry about a start-and-stop season. A state task force will also be available to administer COVID-19 tests to athletes in communities in need of assistance. 

The new guidance would take effect next Friday, Feb. 26.  Indoor sports are still under certain restrictions.

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