Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties reached the threshold of adjusted COVID-19 case rates to below 14.0 per 100,000, clearing the way for high school sports played outdoors to resume, according to the metrics released Tuesday by the California Department of Public Health.
Corona Centennial football coach Matt Logan welcomed the news, saying, "We're excited to have any football at all to get back to some normalcy. This spring gives the opportunity to have seniors play a season and to develop guys for the upcoming season.”
If school districts give approval, football teams can begin 14 days of mandatory practices and would be able to start holding games March 18-19. Los Angeles and Orange counties passed the threshold last week and some schools will start holding scrimmages and games next week.
Ventura is at 10.6, Riverside 11.3 and San Bernardino 9.0. Also cleared is Santa Barbara County at 13.0. Ventura County's health department also clarified its guidelines and will allow teams to play those from adjacent Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties.
The William S. Hart Union High District announced teams can begin conditioning immediately and its schools in the Foothill League will be allowed to have a five-game football season.
In another development that could impact indoor sports, the attorney representing students who won a temporary restraining order in San Diego Superior Court and has been filing lawsuits in other cities trying to get the state to allow youth sports to resume, said he has been engaged in negotiations with state officials.
"I'm not going to do a deal unless it's for the whole state," said attorney Stephen Grebing, who is scheduled to participate in a court hearing on Friday in San Diego.
State health officials released on Wednesday procedures and guidelines for required testing of football and water polo athletes in counties above 7.0 in adjusted cases. Los Angeles is at 7.2 and Orange County 7.6.
The first positive test impacting a California football team occurred Monday. Whitney High in Rocklin has canceled its March 12 game against rival Rocklin and will quarantine its football players for 14 days, according to a statement from the Rocklin Unified School District.
Also it appears teams in the Los Angeles Unified School District won't resume conditioning until next week. A meeting of athletic directors is scheduled for Thursday to review guidelines. Teams were shut down last December. LAUSD still has not announced if sports teams will be allowed to compete during the 2020-21 school year.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.