Los Angeles County health officials Monday were taking another look at COVID-19 safety rules for youth sports, just days after posting guidelines that mandated weekly testing for players and staff, regardless of vaccination status, and required mask-wearing during indoor athletic events.
The county Department of Public Health posted youth sports guidelines on its website Friday, including the testing mandate for “moderate risk” and “high risk” sports. Those include baseball, dodgeball, flag football, lacrosse, field hockey, softball, volleyball, basketball, boxing, football, hockey, rugby, soccer and wrestling.
By Monday afternoon, however, the guidelines had been removed from the county’s website, apparently undergoing further revision. According to the public health department, the effective date of the rules will be changed to give teams time to adjust to the amended guidance. The original rules stated they took effect on Friday.
The rules called for weekly testing for all athletes and staff, with twice-weekly testing “strongly recommended” for those who are unvaccinated. The rules also required all participants to be tested within 48 hours of any “inter-team” competition, with results available before the game begins.
For indoor sports, participants, coaches and spectators would be required to wear masks. Athletes would be required to wear masks while taking part in any indoor sports, removing them only temporarily to eat or drink. Athletes in water sports such as swimming or water polo could remove their masks while in the water.
“Given the increase in community transmission of COVID-19 and the predominance of the more easily spread Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, masking indoors, regardless of vaccination status, is essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the community,” according to the county’s guidance. “The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus spreads more easily than strains of the virus that circulated in L.A. in the past.”