SACRAMENTO — Today, the California Department of Public Health announced the issuance of new guidance for a variety of athletic settings that will make it possible for outdoor practice and competitions to resume with rigid safety protocols in place. Earlier this month, I joined my colleagues and wrote to Governor Newsom expressing my support for a return to outdoor youth sports contingent on workable, science-driven guidelines for how do so safely. While the increased pace of vaccinations and consistent drops in community spread signal the opportunity to proceed cautiously with getting our young athletes back out there, we will need everyone involved following recommendations to limit further surges.
We know that sitting out the season does more than just take away time on the field, the court, the water, or in the pool — it can have a serious toll on our children’s mental health, particularly in more disadvantaged communities. This new guidance is built on a rigorous analysis of the data from other states where activities have resumed, provides state resources to conduct periodic testing for high-contact sports, and facilitates collaboration with coaches and other stakeholders on how to implement these risk mitigation plans across all settings.
As a mom, I know how important it is for kids to get outside and be active, for both their physical and mental well-being. As a legislator, I have a duty to protect the communities I represent and to follow the science where it leads us in our collective efforts to prevent loss of life. I hope that given this chance, coaches, trainers, and parents will act responsibly and make a good faith effort to follow these public health guidelines so we can get our kids back out there safely.