COVID case-rate update: 56 of 58 California counties have now been cleared to play high school football – High School Sports News, Scores, Videos, Rankings

The California Department of Public Health released updated county-by-county COVID-19 case rate numbers on Tuesday, March 9, signaling which counties have been cleared to start playing high school football and other outdoor sports.

For the counties to resume playing outdoor high and moderate-contact sports, their adjusted case rate has to be equal to or less than 14 per 100,000. As of Tuesday afternoon, 56 counties meet the case rate threshold and have been cleared to start playing outdoor high school sports. Weekly COVID-19 testing is required for athletes playing football and water polo in counties that have case rates between seven and 14 cases per 100,000 people. If a county dips below seven cases per 100,000 people then the testing is no longer required.

(California’s 58 counties are listed below followed by a ‘YES‘ or ‘NO‘ denoting whether they have been cleared to play as of March 9)


Los Angeles County: YES (testing no longer required)

San Diego County: YES

Orange County: YES (testing no longer required)

Riverside County: YES

San Bernardino County: YES (testing no longer required)

Santa Clara County: YES (testing no longer required)

Alameda County: YES (testing no longer required)

Sacramento County: YES

Contra Costa County: YES

Fresno County: YES

Kern County: YES

San Francisco County: YES (testing no longer required)

Ventura County: YES

San Mateo County: YES (testing no longer required)

San Joaquin County: YES

Stanislaus County: YES

Sonoma County: YES

Tulare County: YES

Santa Barbara County: YES

Solano County: YES (testing no longer required)

Monterey County: YES

Placer County: YES

San Luis Obispo County: YES (testing no longer required)

Santa Cruz County: YES (testing no longer required)

Merced County: NO

Marin County: YES (testing no longer required)

Butte County: YES

Yolo County: YES (testing no longer required)

El Dorado County: YES

Imperial County: YES (testing no longer required)

Shasta County: YES (testing no longer required)

Madera County: YES

Kings County: YES

Napa County: YES (testing no longer required)

Humboldt County: YES (testing no longer required)

Nevada County: YES

Sutter County: YES

Mendocino County: YES (testing no longer required)

Yuba County: YES

Lake County: YES

Tehama County: YES

San Benito County: YES (testing no longer required)

Tuolumne County: YES

Calaveras County: YES (testing no longer required)

Siskiyou County: YES

Amador County: YES

Lassen County: YES (testing no longer required)

Glenn County: YES

Del Norte County: YES

Colusa County: YES (testing no longer required)

Plumas County: YES (testing no longer required)

Inyo County: NO

Mariposa County: YES (testing no longer required)

Mono County: YES

Trinity County: YES (testing no longer required)

Modoc County: YES

Sierra County: YES (testing no longer required)

Alpine County: YES (but has no high school) (testing no longer required)

Note: For the two counties that did not meet the case rate threshold, they will have another chance on Tuesday, March 16 when the state’s county-by-county case rate data is updated.

Read the state’s complete updated youth sports guidance here. The guidance includes a chart that puts sports in tiers and lists them by their risk from low contact outdoor to high contact indoor.

After the CDPH has cleared counties to play, individual private schools and school districts can choose to be more restrictive than the guidance and not allow a particular sport to be played due to safety concerns from COVID-19. It’s also important to remember that even if a sport is allowed by the CDPH, it still needs to be in season. In many counties, baseball got the green light to be played this week, but the sport won’t be in season in some Sections until March.


Here is how the state defines each sport:

Low-Contact Outdoor Sports: Individual or small group sports where contact within six feet of other participants can be avoided. Some of these sports have relatively low exertion rates that allow for consistent wearing of face coverings when within six feet of other people.

Here is every low-contact outdoor sport:

  • Archery
  • Badminton (singles)
  • Biking
  • Bocce
  • Corn hole
  • Cross country
  • Dance (no contact)
  • Disc golf
  • Equestrian events (including rodeos) that involve only a single rider at a time
  • Fencing
  • Golf
  • Ice and roller skating (no contact)
  • Lawn bowling
  • Martial arts (no contact)
  • Physical training programs (e.g., yoga, Zumba, Tai chi)
  • Pickleball (singles)
  • Rowing/crew (with 1 person)
  • Running
  • Shuffleboard
  • Skeet shooting
  • Skiing and snowboarding
  • Snowshoeing
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis (singles)
  • Track and field
  • Walking and hiking

Moderate-Contact Outdoor Sports: Team sports that can be played with only incidental or intermittent close contact between participants.

Here is every moderate-contact outdoor sport:

  • Badminton (doubles)
  • Baseball
  • Cheerleading
  • Dodgeball
  • Field hockey
  • Gymnastics
  • Kickball
  • Lacrosse (girls/women)
  • Pickleball (doubles)
  • Softball
  • Tennis (doubles)
  • Volleyball

High-Contact Outdoor Sports: Team sports with frequent or sustained close contact (and in many cases, face-to-face contact) between participants and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants.

Here is every high-contact outdoor sport:

  • Basketball (some areas can play outdoors)
  • Football
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse (boys/men)
  • Rugby
  • Rowing/crew (with 2 or more people)
  • Soccer
  • Water polo 

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