San Joaquin County's return to the more restrictive “purple tier” means that high school sports for area schools is unlikely to begin next month.
California Health and Human Services Agency Director Mark Ghaly announced Monday that San Joaquin is among the 41 counties in the state moving into the purple tier effective today. The county's adjusted case rate has ballooned to 16.4 cases per day per 100,000 people, which is well above the 6.5% positivity rate required to remain in the red tier.
The California Interscholastic Federation and local school districts are awaiting guidelines from state and county health departments.
“In today's COVID-19 press briefing, Governor (Gavin) Newsom and Dr. Mark Ghaly from the California Department of Public Health disclosed that the release of updated youth sports guidance has been postponed,” the CIF stated in a press release Monday. “Therefore, the current guidance remains in effect, and CIF competitions are not allowed until new guidance is provided.”
For now, Manteca and Ripon unified are allowing its sports programs to remain active in their summer workout programs. Tracy Unified, on the other hand, canceled all athletic activities starting on Monday.
In July, CIF moved its state championship schedules back to the late winter and spring months. Here in the Sac-Joaquin Section official fall sports practices begin Dec. 7 for cross country and football, while boys and girls water polo, boys and girls volleyball and badminton start Dec. 14. First official contests were scheduled for Dec. 21 (cross country), Dec. 28 (water polo, badminton), Dec. 29 (volleyball) and Jan. 8 (football).