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Updated Youth Sports Guidance and Other Guidance and Resources For Schools and Employers Issued By CDPH and DIR/LWDA
Within the last week, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), and Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) have issued new guidance and resources for schools and employers, including updated guidance for youth sports.
CDPH K-12 Schools Reopening Framework and Guidance Q&A
On February 16, 2021, the CDPH issued the K-12 Schools Reopening Framework and Guidance Q&A, which contains frequently asked questions related to the COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Instruction Framework & Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year that was issued on January 14, 2021. The new Q&A is organized by topic, and contains questions and answers regarding the COVID-19 Safety Plan; notification of positive cases, quarantine, and case reporting; close contact, outbreaks, and school closure; testing; cohort and stable groups; and other related youth guidance.
CDPH Outdoor and Indoor Youth and Recreational Adult Sports Guidance
On February 19, 2021, the CDPH issued updated Outdoor and Indoor Youth and Recreational Adult Sports guidance (Sports Guidance) that takes effect on February 26, 2021. The Sports Guidance applies to all school, community, and privately organized youth and adult sports and recreation, but does not apply to collegiate sports, professional sports, or community events, such as endurance races. Schools should note that their county, city, and/or local public health authority may have additional or more restrictive guidance or requirements for youth sports than those in the Sports Guidance.
The Sports Guidance contains specific requirements that must be adhered to at all times, specific requirements that must be adhered to depending upon the county tier level or other factors, and measures that are strongly encouraged, but not required. For example, coaches, support staff, and observers must wear face coverings in compliance with the CDPH Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings; all indoor sports activities must comply with the current CDPH Gym and Fitness Center Guidance; and observers of youth sports practices and competitions must be limited to the participants’ immediate household members.
The Sports Guidance further contains a table that sets forth which sports are permitted and when based on the county’s current tier level, the contact level of the sport (e.g., low-contact, moderate-contact, and high-contact), and the location of the sport (i.e., indoor vs. outdoor). The Sports Guidance specifically identifies which sports are classified as outdoor low-contact, outdoor moderate-contact, outdoor high-contact, indoor low-contact, indoor moderate-contact, and indoor high-contact.
Generally, outdoor high-contact sports may only be played in a county that is in the Moderate (Orange) Tier and outdoor moderate-contact sports may only be played in a county in the Substantial (Red) Tier. However, outdoor high-contact sports can be played in a county in the purple or red tier with an adjusted case rate equal to or less than 14 per 100,000 if parents are provided information regarding the risk of participating in sports and sign an informed consent indicating their understanding and acknowledgement of the risks (Informed Consent); participants and coaches undergo weekly and pre-competition COVID-19 testing; and all other applicable COVID-19 guidance and restrictions are followed. Similarly, outdoor moderate-contact sports can be played in a county in the purple tier with an adjusted case rate equal to or less than 14 per 100,000 if parents are provided and sign an Informed Consent and all other applicable COVID-19 guidance and restrictions are followed.
In all other circumstances, the CDPH strongly encourages that schools provide and have parents sign an Informed Consent and implement weekly and pre-competition COVID-19 test results of participants and coaches. Further, the CDPH recommends that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 consult their physician for testing, and notify their coach, athletic trainer and/or school administrator of their symptoms and test results.
DIR and LWDA COVID-19 Resources for Employers and Workers
The DIR and LWDA recently launched a new website for California employers and workers with COVID-19 resources, including an Outreach Toolkit with flyers, infographics, and suggested social media posts, as well as a COVID-19 Employer Portal for employers to use to create a customized road map of information to promote safe and compliant operations and/or re-openings.
Liebert Cassidy Whitmore attorneys are available to assist schools that have any questions about COVID-19 related guidance for schools or employers issued by state or local authorities.