Outdoor sports and group recreational activities were allowed to resume starting Friday across much of California under a plan state health officials announced a week ago that clears the way for a number of high school sports.
Under the rules Gov. Gavin Newsom issued last week, a county’s overall tier designation doesn’t matter. The key metric to determine whether or not outdoor recreational sports can resume is the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people.
As long as that is 14 cases per 100,000 or below, sports such as soccer, baseball and football can resume.
All nine Bay Area counties meet the threshold of 14 cases or less.
There still are restrictions: Players ad coaches on the sideline must wear masks; and coaches and athletes in close contact sports must be tested weekly if their county is at 7 cases or more per 100,000 people.
The commissioner overseeing high school sports in six Bay Area counties says it's welcome news.
"The mental health of kids is so important, and it has taken a backseat during this pandemic," Central Coast Section Commissioner David Grissom said. "Giving them an outlet now to compete is such a positive thing for them."
Another important restriction on outdoor sports from the state is on spectators. People who go to watch competitions should be limited to immediate family members.