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High school explains new guidance for sports 

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Update from the Paso Robles High School Athletics Department

–On Friday, Paso Robles High School Assistant Principal Thomas Harrington issued a letter to Bearcat student-athletes and parents discussing new guidance in regards to youth sports and high school athletics.

The letter reads as follows:

–Last week, Governor Newsom released updated guidance regarding youth sports that includes high school athletics. Included in the guidance, counties with an Adjusted COVID Rate of 14.0 or less per 100,000 population would be permitted to start Red and Orange sports starting on February 26th with a few limitations. This is in addition to the Purple Tier sports that were previously authorized to commence. This is great news for the community of Paso Robles!

On Tuesday 2/23/21, the SLO Department of Public Health reported the county now qualifies to commence Red and Orange sports with an Adjusted COVID Rate of 9.4 per 100,000 population. These sports include baseball, softball, football, soccer, stunt, and water polo. As you can imagine, the calendars, schedules, logistics, and other aspects of starting numerous sports simultaneously will provide challenges. We will diligently work through these challenges to provide our student-athletes the best possible athletic experience with an emphasis on safety.

Fortunately, the previous state guidance allowed teams to practice so there already were numerous Bearcats out getting ready and some even started competition last weekend. The new guidance appears to expand the opportunities for most sports to commence. Yesterday, the CCAA met to decide on a sports calendar, discuss policy, and have begun the process of scheduling competitions. The updated sports calendar and Return to Competition Plan can be found on the athletic department website.

As we start additional sports, there are a few items of note for the parents and student-athletes. Due to state limitations on district vehicle occupancy, parents will be responsible for the transport of their student-athlete(s) to and from all practices and competitions. The coaches are not permitted to coordinate nor facilitate transportation of student-athletes.

I understand the topic of spectators is also of great interest to parents. Guidance from the California Department of Public Health states “ Limit observation of youth sports (age 18 years and under) to immediate household members and for the strict purpose of age-appropriate supervision.” Due to the vagueness, we have asked the SLO County Health Department for a ruling on the specific number of spectators allowed. We will forward the Country’s response as soon as received. While we will be required to limit the number of spectators, we will expand the use of live stream events so the community can view the Bearcats in competition.

Multi-sport athletes were also a topic of discussion. Currently, student-athletes are allowed to participate only in one cohort at a time. When SLO County progresses to the Red Tier we will allow student-athletes to apply for simultaneous multi-sport status if they choose. This process will include a review panel involving parents, student-athletes, coaches, and athletic administration. We are hopeful that will occur soon. Until an application is approved, students need to participate in only one sport per season.

As we work through the numerous issues associated with safely starting sports during the pandemic, we ask all involved to be flexible and patient. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the athletic department at 805-769-1500, Ext. 50046.

Thomas Harrington Assistant Principal


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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.