Multiple COVID outbreaks around Los Angeles linked to youth sports

As schools around Los Angeles begin to open back up, youth sports have returned. While cases directly linked to in-school transmission have been minimal, there is some concern about the virus spreading through after-school sports. 

According to an article in Deadline, five COVID outbreaks around Los Angeles have been attributed to youth sports. The areas of the outbreaks include Santa Clarita, Redondo Beach and Agoura Hills. Positive cases in these areas involve athletes who participate in soccer, basketball, baseball and dance.

“We know that masking and distancing can be a challenge in some sports, and that socializing during these activities off school campus could also be a factor in virus transmission among these groups,” Los Angeles county public health director Barbara Ferrer said in an interview with Deadline

County officials are aware of the situation and are considering stricter guidelines to mitigate the risk of contracting the virus.

“We’re looking hard at the current guidance for youth sports and may be making additional recommendations later this week to mitigate the increases we’re seeing in transmission among youth sport participants,” Ferrer said. 

With the rise in vaccinations and the decrease in case rate around the greater Los Angeles area, youth sports still remain up and running.

“If we hope to sustain this remarkable progress, we need to be realistic about the risks that come with our return to places and activities that we’re such a big part of our lives before the pandemic. We need to be careful to take sensible precautions in the weeks ahead while we vaccinate more people,” Ferrer said.

I was aware of this situation and actually sent that information out to all of our coaches as a reminder of how important it is to follow the protocols that we already have in place,” Oak Park Assistant Principal Jason Meskis wrote to the Talon. “We do not have any plans to change our current protocols.”