The California Department of Public Health and Governor Newsom earlier this month announced new guidance for outdoor and indoor youth and recreational sports. The new guidelines now state that outdoor high-contact sports (which were formerly permitted only in the orange tier) can be played in the purple or red tier with an adjusted case rate of less than 14 cases per 100,000, with certain safety precautions.
“While we are happy that our youth will return to outdoor high-contact sports in the near future, we are disheartened with the misalignment, as junior high and high school campuses remain unable to open in the purple tier,” said Scott Kuykendall, Stanislaus County Superintendent of Schools. “The Stanislaus County Office of Education and the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency (SCHSA) don’t have the authority to override the current guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), which states that schools are unable to open until they enter the red tier, which is 7 cases per 100,000. We support schools opening, and if given flexibility from the CDPH, will act immediately to bring students back to campuses as quickly as possible.”
Superintendent Kuykendall and Stanislaus County Public Health Officer Dr. Julie Vaishampayan both agree that there is a disconnect in the CDPH guidelines, believe schools should be the first to open and the last to close and are committed to opening schools as quickly and safely as possible.
“The path to opening our schools to in-person learning is clear. We must take all actions to slow the spread so that we can meet the criteria set forward in the State guidance and open our schools,” said Dr. Vaishampayan. “The path for school opening advocacy is also clear. The only people with the power to change this are at the State level. Local agencies do not have the authority to be less restrictive.”
The Outdoor and Indoor Youth and Recreational Adult Sports Guidelines can be found on the CDPH website: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/outdoor-indoor-recreational-sports.aspx