Game on? Youth sports in New York will soon be up to local county health departments

Around New York State

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — New York state updated its COVID-19 guidelines Friday to let local county health departments determine if higher-risk youth sports can be played.

In the update Friday:

Effective February 1, 2021, participants in higher risk sports and recreation activities may partake in individual or distanced group training and organized no/low-contact group training and, further, may partake in other types of play, including competitions and tournaments, only as permitted by the respective local health authorities (i.e., county health departments).

  • Local health authorities should consider the following factors in authorizing or continuing to prohibit higher risk sports and recreational activities as, in many areas, these factors may weig against permitting such activities:
    • whether there has been a more-transmissible variant of COVID-19 identified in the area,
    • local rates of COVID-19 transmission or rate of positivity, and
    • local ability to monitor and enforce compliance.

NYS Senate Republican Leader Senator Rob Ortt weighed in on the decision.

“Today’s decision by New York State to allow the resumption of ‘high risk’ sports such a youth hockey, football, basketball, and more is welcome news for all of the participants of these sports, their coaches, and their families. As I said at a recent rally in Amherst, youth sports are about more than just competition. They represent a community, friendship and are a tool used to learn valuable life lessons. Although this season may be a bit different for many of the athletes involved in these sports, the fact they will be able to get back between the lines and safely join their teammates in friendly competition once again is outstanding.”

NYS Senate Republican Leader Senator Rob Ortt

Full guidance

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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