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Youth sports allowed to continue in Kern County

While the return of high school sports is big news locally, outdoor youth sports have also been given the go-ahead to resume in Kern County.

After the state recently announced that outdoor sports could continue provided counties have no more than 14 positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, Kern finally cleared the threshold on Tuesday, with its case rate dropping to 13.3.

In a release sent out Tuesday, the Kern County Public Health Services Department stated outdoor sports with high to moderate levels of contact can resume in both the purple and red COVID tiers, though testing requirements will be mandatory for certain sports.

The news release stated that the state's guidelines applies to all "organized youth and adult sports, including school and community-sponsored programs, and privately organized clubs and leagues."

Tournaments and events featuring more than two teams are not authorized and inter-squad events are permitted "only if both teams are located in the same county or in a bordering county." Teams may also only compete in one competition per day.

Standard COVID-19 safety protocols — masks, six feet of distance, washed and sanitized hands, etc. — will also be required.