Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) today released health guidance to help young people and spectators stay safer from COVID-19 on the playing field and at other extracurricular activities.
The new countywide guidance, which aligns with an update to the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) public health guidance for K-12 schools, is not a legally binding health order, but expert advice for schools, sports leagues, clubs, and other organized activities for youth and children.
Contra Costa and all the Bay Area continue endure a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant and residents who have chosen to remain unvaccinated.
“Based on local data from July and August, we now know that an unvaccinated Contra Costa resident is 13 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than a vaccinated resident,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County’s health officer. “Schools and organizations that provide youth sports and other activities need to be especially aware, because children younger than 12 are not yet able to be vaccinated. While pediatric hospitalization rates remain low across the county, children who catch Covid-19 can pass the virus to vulnerable adults.”
The Contra Costa guidance outlines existing requirements and adds recommendations for when to use face coverings, vaccination, COVID-19 testing, transportation and hygiene. The guidance applies both to school-based and non-school activities, building on updated CDPH guidance for school sports and other activities.
The new county guidance strongly encourages use of masks for all participants, coaches, staff, volunteers and spectators in outdoor sports, regardless of vaccination status. The use of masks for activities in indoor public spaces is required by a county health order.
It’s also a healthy choice for unvaccinated participants, including children, staff, coaches and volunteers, to get tested for COVID-19 regularly.
Teams that travel outside the Bay Area should consider following the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommendations for quarantine after travel.
To read the guidance and other local information and health advice about keeping youth, children and students safe from COVID-19 visit the Schools & Childcare page at cchealth.org/coronavirus.