The governing body for high school sports in California announced Tuesday schools will not be able to return to full practice and competition until after Jan. 1, due to a rising statewide surge in COVID-19 diagnoses.
“Due to the continued surge in COVID-19 infections, the California Department of Public Health has postponed the issuance of its updated youth sports guidance,” the California Interscholastic Federation, or CIF, wrote in an announcement issued Tuesday evening.
“The (CIF) does not expect the CDPH will issue any guidance allowing for schools to return to full practice and competition until after Jan. 1, 2021, at the earliest,” according to the CIF statement on its website. “Thus, all full practice and competition start dates are officially on hold until updated guidance is issued.”
The move puts all practices and competition on hold for the CIF’s 1,605 member schools and more than 800,000 student athletes. It also re-adjusts an already ad hoc schedule that delayed the start of all fall sports, as well as many postseason plans.
“Once allowed by the CDPH and local county offices of public health, the CIF state office is removing all regional and state championship events from the Season 1 sports calendar,” the notice also stated. “By canceling regional and state championship events, more student-athletes will have the opportunity to participate in a longer season, rather than a truncated season with regional and state postseason play for a limited number of schools.”
Additionally, boys volleyball will be moved to later in the year to avoid the loss of a second full season. An updated calendar is expected to be posted in January.
The William S. Hart Union High School District, which oversees all public junior highs and high schools in the Santa Clarita Valley, recently released a COVID-19 dashboard, which allows community members to see if a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis is associated with a staff member or a student.
The dashboard currently lists approximately 1,961 staff members on site, and five diagnoses in the last 14 days among them. For students, the district counts approximately 22,410 students at its 17 sites, and the dashboard reports three cases in the last 14 days and 11 cases cumulatively since July 1.(The dashboard can be seen at: hartdistrict.org/apps/pages/covid-19dashboard.)