Youth competition in sports such as football and basketball could resume sooner than anticipated in the Southland, with the state Friday revising its guidelines to allowing the activities in counties with relatively low rates of new COVID-19 cases.

The standard allows for a resumption of “outdoor high-contact sports” in counties that reach an adjusted daily average of 14 new cases per 100,000 residents. Los Angeles County currently has a rate of 20 cases per 100,000 residents. Orange County’s rate is 20.7.

Counties that reach the 14-case threshold will be able to resume basketball, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, rugby, rowing/crew, soccer and water polo.

Resuming football, rugby and water polo will also require weekly COVID testing of players — aged 13 and above — and coaches, with test results made available within 24 hours of a competition.

The guidance encourages, but does not mandate, vaccinations for athletes, coaches and staff.

It also maintains previous guidance limiting spectators to immediate household members, with limits on overall numbers to ensure physical distancing.

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