Effective today, anyone attending large outdoor events or individual’s playing indoor youth sports are not required to wear a mask, though indoor sports participants will be required to undergo a weekly COVID-19 test in lieu of mask wearing.

Del Norte Public Health (DNPH) Officer Aaron Stutz announced the change on Monday, Nov. 22.

The amendment to a Nov. 3 order that required extensive mask wearing stated that school sports continue to be a high risk activity for COVID-19 transmission, and recommended rapid antigen testing the day before game play, and an additional PCR test on Fridays so that results are available at the beginning of the week - thereby reducing potential in-class exposure by student athletes.

The directive further noted that COVID-19 vaccination is strongly recommended for all participants who are eligible for vaccination, as well as coaches, staff and volunteers.

Districts, schools, leagues, clubs, teams, organizations and tournaments/events are also allowed to require that all participants and personnel be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and/or wear facial coverings.

The DNPH also recommended health screening of players, coaches, staff and spectators prior to or upon arrival at sports and other events.

Today’s loosening of mask restrictions follow a Nov. 18 meeting of the Del Norte Unified School District, where Superintendent Jeff Harris and board trustees decided to draft a letter opposing vaccine mandates. The letter will be sent to Governor Gavin Newsom and other California officials. During the same meeting, several parents also expressed concern about possible health impacts due to masking-wearing while playing sports.


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