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Competition youth sports in California might return as early as Jan. 25, health officials say

Modified versions of practice, skill building, and training will be allowed in all counties, including those under stay-at-home orders.
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Football on the Field

CALIFORNIA, USA — New guidance for youth and recreational adult sports could see the return of competition sports as early as Jan. 25, 2021.

The California Department of Public Health released the guidance on Monday. It allows for outdoor, physically-distanced practice, skill-building, and training to continue with modifications in all counties, including those under stay-at-home orders. However, people are asked to limit these activities to a single household if the county does have stay-at-home orders.

California's coronavirus tier system is being updated to allow sports to continue in tiers that correspond to their level of contact and transmission risk and the level of community spread in the tier.

On the other hand, competition with modifications won't be happening before Jan. 25. This is due to the increased probability of spreading COVID-19 due to mixing of households, travel, and unavoidable physical contact. After Jan. 25, health officials say the return for competition will depend on the transmission rates in early January. 

"Competitions between different teams have been associated with multiple outbreaks in California and across the country," health officials said in a news release. "This date will be reassessed by January 4, 2021, based on California disease transmission trends and is subject to change at any time given the level of COVID-19 and ICU capacity in California."

The new guidance applies to all organized youth and adult sports, which includes school and community-sponsored programs, privately-organized clubs, and leagues.

“I know as a parent and athlete myself, how important exercise is to maintain physical and mental health, and we encourage members of the same household to do physical activities together and outdoors until the current and alarming surge passes," said Dr. Erica Pan, Acting State Public Health Officer. "We need everyone to take seriously their responsibility to protect their entire community, and in the meantime, we all can look forward to these activities we can resume in 2021.”

For more information on what sports fall into which tiers, click HERE for the full list.

Read more from ABC10

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