News

Paly, Gunn student-athletes can again train outdoors in person starting next week

California Public Health Department releases updated guidance on youth sports

Student-athletes at Palo Alto and Gunn high schools will be able to train in person outdoors starting Jan. 19. Courtesy Abbey Liao.

Palo Alto and Gunn high school student-athletes will be able to again train in person outdoors in stable cohorts starting Jan. 19, the schools announced.

"While sport season schedules have not been finalized, the Paly and Gunn athletic department and staff feel it is important to offer our community the chance to do what they love with the people they care about. These workouts are not just about physical conditioning, but are part of a belief that having fun as a member of a caring community is critical to the well-being of our students," Paly Athletic Director Nelson Gifford and Gunn Athletic Director Curt Johansen wrote in a joint announcement.

Athletic training with health and safety precautions is allowed to resume under updated California Department of Public Health guidelines released in December. The guidance is "aimed at giving communities guidelines on how to safely remain physically active while reducing transmission in their communities, especially at a time when cases are at an all-time high and ICU capacity is stretched near capacity," the California Department of Public Health said.

Students will train outdoors, keeping 6 feet apart, and within stable cohorts. They should "refrain" from participating in more than one team over the same season. Face coverings should be worn at all times, "even in heavy exertion as tolerated," the guidance states. Students and coaches also must wear masks when they're not participating in the athletic activity, such as when standing on the sidelines.

When the high schools first resumed sports practices in the fall, the athletic directors also urged students to not socialize with each other before or after workouts.

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Outdoor, low-contact sports that are permissible while Santa Clara County is in the most severe "purple" tier of COVID-19 include badminton, biking, cross country, track and field, golf, yoga, running and swimming. Outdoor high-contact sports like basketball and football can't resume until the county is in the orange tier.

No indoor activity can take place at this time. When Santa Clara County moves into the red tier, however, high school gyms and weight rooms will be allowed to operate at 10% capacity, then 25% and 50% capacity in the orange and yellow tiers, respectively.

High school athletes aren't allowed to compete in games yet. The state Department of Public Health has said competitions can't resume before Jan. 25. Competitions "increase the probability of transmission due to mixing of households, traveling, and unavoidable physical contact," the guidance states, adding that competitions between different teams have been associated with multiple outbreaks in California and across the country.

The district is still planning to offer new in-person activities to small groups of secondary school students starting Jan. 25, Superintendent Don Austin said on Tuesday, with "announcements coming very soon."

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

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Paly, Gunn student-athletes can again train outdoors in person starting next week

California Public Health Department releases updated guidance on youth sports

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 5:38 pm

Palo Alto and Gunn high school student-athletes will be able to again train in person outdoors in stable cohorts starting Jan. 19, the schools announced.

"While sport season schedules have not been finalized, the Paly and Gunn athletic department and staff feel it is important to offer our community the chance to do what they love with the people they care about. These workouts are not just about physical conditioning, but are part of a belief that having fun as a member of a caring community is critical to the well-being of our students," Paly Athletic Director Nelson Gifford and Gunn Athletic Director Curt Johansen wrote in a joint announcement.

Athletic training with health and safety precautions is allowed to resume under updated California Department of Public Health guidelines released in December. The guidance is "aimed at giving communities guidelines on how to safely remain physically active while reducing transmission in their communities, especially at a time when cases are at an all-time high and ICU capacity is stretched near capacity," the California Department of Public Health said.

Students will train outdoors, keeping 6 feet apart, and within stable cohorts. They should "refrain" from participating in more than one team over the same season. Face coverings should be worn at all times, "even in heavy exertion as tolerated," the guidance states. Students and coaches also must wear masks when they're not participating in the athletic activity, such as when standing on the sidelines.

When the high schools first resumed sports practices in the fall, the athletic directors also urged students to not socialize with each other before or after workouts.

Outdoor, low-contact sports that are permissible while Santa Clara County is in the most severe "purple" tier of COVID-19 include badminton, biking, cross country, track and field, golf, yoga, running and swimming. Outdoor high-contact sports like basketball and football can't resume until the county is in the orange tier.

No indoor activity can take place at this time. When Santa Clara County moves into the red tier, however, high school gyms and weight rooms will be allowed to operate at 10% capacity, then 25% and 50% capacity in the orange and yellow tiers, respectively.

High school athletes aren't allowed to compete in games yet. The state Department of Public Health has said competitions can't resume before Jan. 25. Competitions "increase the probability of transmission due to mixing of households, traveling, and unavoidable physical contact," the guidance states, adding that competitions between different teams have been associated with multiple outbreaks in California and across the country.

The district is still planning to offer new in-person activities to small groups of secondary school students starting Jan. 25, Superintendent Don Austin said on Tuesday, with "announcements coming very soon."

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Comments

Paloaltonian
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Jan 12, 2021 at 7:45 pm
Paloaltonian, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Jan 12, 2021 at 7:45 pm

Finally. Now open the schools to all grades NOW. There is no reason to deny our children the option of in person education 5 days a week. [Portion removed.]


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jan 12, 2021 at 8:18 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jan 12, 2021 at 8:18 pm

“ There is no reason to deny our children the option of in person education 5 days a week.”

Yes there is. There is a pandemic currently
raging. I am thankful the teachers union is working to keep all staff, students, and families safe. Especially the families and commenters here who can’t comprehend or in this case, isn’t apparently aware of the dangers of this pandemic, and that there is currently a highly contagious airborne virus circulating with no cure until vaccines are distributed. [Portion removed.] Schools are closed because of this so there IS a reason after all! So please stay safe! Finally, teachers don’t need to meet your expectation of bravery. They will continue to work online and continue getting paid until it’s safe to return to schools in person. [Portion removed.]


Jeremy Erman
Registered user
Midtown
on Jan 12, 2021 at 11:47 pm
Jeremy Erman, Midtown
Registered user
on Jan 12, 2021 at 11:47 pm

When people look back at the pandemic, they will probably note that one of the guiding principles of group activities was, "Sports first, arts last."


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jan 13, 2021 at 8:53 am
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jan 13, 2021 at 8:53 am

I see football players (not the team) practicing informally at Paly pretty regularly. Just yesterday it was one of their kickers practicing field goals. He made the one I saw as I jogged past, so at least they're able to keep some skills up.


S. Underwood
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jan 14, 2021 at 12:18 pm
S. Underwood, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jan 14, 2021 at 12:18 pm

I've said it before -- We just need to convince our leadership to pretend that math, reading, and writing are "sports." Even if that includes getting "coaches" and doing it outdoors.

Partial schedules, reduced instruction, and cheapened expectations just won't do. When the rubber meets the road, talk is cheap. Actions show what folks care about.


Shawn
Registered user
Midtown
on Jan 14, 2021 at 6:41 pm
Shawn , Midtown
Registered user
on Jan 14, 2021 at 6:41 pm

Instead of coming in here and being bitter why not be happy the kids can go out and play and participate in what they love ?
No one will remember the pandemic as sports over arts ????????‍♂️


The Wiser Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Midtown
on Jan 14, 2021 at 11:50 pm
The Wiser Voice of Palo Alto, Midtown
Registered user
on Jan 14, 2021 at 11:50 pm

@ Shawn
Agree! Awesome for Paly and Gunn athletes! Anything back in person is fabulous! Starting anywhere in CA (which is Waaaaay behind the rest of the country already back to school and sports) is important.

@ The Voice of Palo Alto
Anyone who says it's not safe to come back to school is just plain wrong. [Portion removed.] All over the world, all over the country, and thousands of private schools in CA have been back in person since at least last fall and some since last spring - with LOWER case rates than their surrounding community. Schools have been shown by hard data to be SAFER than surrounding communities. Just today, CDC confirms what we've know for six months, outbreaks are NOT driven by in person school. Does someone here know more than 15,000 scientists at the CDC? I think not:

Web Link

UCSF Doctors gave a presentation TODAY saying the following. I don't have a link to the recording yet. Will post later. [Quotes from presentation removed; please post link to the comments.]


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jan 15, 2021 at 11:12 am
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jan 15, 2021 at 11:12 am

[Portion removed.] You argue that schools don’t drive community spread, are safer than the surrounding communities, but conveniently don’t mention that even if the cases are lower in schools that COVID IS spreading within schools. [Portion removed.] All of California is in purple tier or blue tier because of unmitigated spread. But you think it’s somehow safe for teachers to meet with say 12 students and all of their contacts by extension on a daily basis for 4 hours a day indoors, every day because why? Masking? Sure. If schools are this great bastion of safety, and Private schools have all of the COVID safety answers, then let’s use the safety model that these private schools are using so we can open up all of society and go back to normal. Only in our country would we try to normalize society by opening schools while we are in the midst of a raging pandemic with almost 300,000 new cases and 4000 deaths happening nationally every day and have commenters like yourself advocating for reopening and going back to normal.

What happens if the new more transmissible coronavirus variant becomes the dominant strain over the next few months? Will these UCSF doctors change their opinion? [Portion removed.] Remember when the pediatricians wrote that big demand as summer ended to open schools and then backtracked once the current Federal Administration got a hold of it and started using to promote their “open the schools” agenda? These UCSF doctors need to stay in their lane. They have no idea what it takes to run a classroom. They say masks and distancing work but that is under the assumption that children will follow the rules and keep masks on perfectly all day like patients do at their hospitals. Even making that comparison is ridiculous.

Obviously things work much differently in their hospitals as opposed to a classroom. Also, masks do not offer 100% protection especially in circumstances of prolonged contact. [Portion removd.] Of course children can get and spread the coronavirus even if they aren’t drivers of the pandemic.

Web Link

Here is an article about how another district had to switch to virtual learning due to increased infections. I would like the UCSF doctors to explain how this is happening?

Web Link

Here is an article about how teacher infections are increasing when schools are open. Active cases up 84% in public schools. Can the UCSF doctors also explain this?:

Web Link


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jan 15, 2021 at 11:14 am
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jan 15, 2021 at 11:14 am

[Post removed; excessive commenting.]


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