Mandatory Directive for Collegiate and Professional Athletics – PDF:
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*Please confirm that your activity is allowed under the State Order. Where there is a difference between the local County Order and the State Order, the more restrictive order must be followed.*
Information on the State's Order and State guidance is available at covid19.ca.gov
Issued: October 10, 2020
Revised: December 18, 2020
Collegiate and professional athletic programs that are allowed to operate must follow the mandatory requirements in this Directive and any other applicable County Health Officer Directive, the County Health Officer’s Revised Risk Reduction Order issued on October 5, 2020, the applicable restrictions under the State Order and the State's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the State’s COVID-19 Industry Guidance documents, and any applicable health and safety regulations. When there is a difference between these rules, the most restrictive rule must be followed.
While Santa Clara County is under the State's Regional Stay at Home Order, collegiate and professional athletic programs are allowed to operate only outdoors, and only if athletes do not come within six feet of one another at any time; for clarity, all athletic activities that involve contact or close proximity are prohibited during this time. Any collegiate or professional athletic team or program that travels outside the County to engage in athletic activity prohibited in the County is prohibited from engaging in further athletic activity within Santa Clara County during this time period. Any collegiate or professional athletic team or program that travels outside the County to engage in athletic activity allowed in the County must comply with the Mandatory Directive for Travel. This restriction is in effect until 12:01 a.m. on the day after the California Department of Public Health announces that the County is no longer subject to the Regional Stay at Home Order, unless the County Health Officer otherwise rescinds, modifies, or extends this restriction.
For additional rules that apply to collegiate athletic programs, please see the following COVID-19 Industry Guidance from the State:
This Directive is mandatory, and failure to follow it is a violation of the Health Officer's Order issued on October 5, 2020 (“Order”). Collegiate athletic programs and professional athletic organizations must comply with the Order, the requirements of this Directive, and the requirements of applicable State industry-specific guidance.
The Order Issued October 5, 2020
The Order imposes several restrictions on all businesses and activities (including institutions of higher education and professional athletic organizations) to ensure that the County stays as safe as possible, including but not limited to the following:
- Signage: All businesses must print (1) an updated COVID-19 PREPARED Sign and (2) a Social Distancing Protocol Visitor Information Sheet, and both must be posted prominently at all facility entrances. These are available for printing after online submission of the Revised Social Distancing Protocol. The Revised Social Distancing Protocol specifies additional signage requirements.
- Face Coverings: Everyone must wear face coverings at all times specified in the California Department of Public Health's mandatory Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings (“Face Covering Guidance”) and in any specific directives issued by the County Health Officer. Further, even where not required under State or local guidance and orders, face coverings should be worn to the maximum extent possible (1) when indoors and not in one's own residence and (2) whenever outdoors and within six feet of anyone outside one's own household. This Directive sets forth additional face covering requirements specific to collegiate programs and professional athletic organizations.
- Capacity Limitation: All businesses must comply with the capacity limitations established in the Mandatory Directive on Capacity. The capacity limitations for gyms and facilities specified in the Mandatory Directive on Capacity apply to indoor gyms and facilities used by collegiate and professional athletic programs.
- Mandatory Requirements for Both Collegiate and Professional Athletics
- Automatic Rescission of Approval Upon Violation
- Any collegiate athletic program or professional athletics organization that violates the Order or this Directive shall be immediately and automatically suspended from engaging in athletic activities.
- If a violation occurs, the collegiate program or professional athletics organization must demonstrate that it has fully corrected such violation and obtain the Health Officer's written approval before re-initiating athletic activities.
- No Spectators
- Collegiate programs and professional athletics organizations may not allow spectators to attend any practice, competition, or other athletics event.
- Face Covering Requirements
- Only athletes who are actively engaged in athletic activity may remove their face coverings.
- All other persons associated with the program or organization must wear face coverings at all times while at any sports, training, or other facility, whether indoors or outdoors, that is associated with or being used by their athletics program or organization. These persons include, but are not limited to, all athletes, coaches, staff, trainers, volunteers, and officials (such as referees and umpires). Athletes must wear face coverings during practices and competitions whenever they are not actively engaged in athletic activities (for example, while on the sidelines during a competition).
- Announcers, reporters, videographers, members of the press and any other persons entering the program's or organization's facilities are required to wear face coverings at all times.
- Face coverings must fully cover both the mouth and nose, and must fit snugly around the face. A face shield is not sufficient to meet this requirement. Further, the following categories of face coverings do not comply with this Directive:
- Neck gaiters;
- Single-layer cloth face coverings;
- Face coverings with an exhalation valve.
- Persons for whom face coverings are medically inadvisable, as determined by a qualified physician and confirmed by the college or professional athletic organization are not required to wear face coverings.
- Mandatory Requirements for Collegiate Athletics
All collegiate athletic programs must comply with the following requirements in addition to all requirements in the State's Specific Interim Guidance for Collegiate Athletics (“State Guidance”):
- COVID-19 Designees
- As required by the State Guidance, each college must designate a person responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns for the college's overall athletic program and for each team or sport (“COVID-19 Designees”). Prior to beginning activity, each college shall provide the County Public Health Department with the name, e-mail, and phone number of all COVID-19 Designees.
- Regular Testing Protocols
- All athletes, coaches, staff, trainers, volunteers, and other persons interacting with athletes (collectively, “Athletes and Personnel”) must receive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing on at least three non-consecutive days per week.
- Supplemental antigen testing may also be conducted, but must be in addition to, and not in lieu of, PCR testing. Any positive antigen test must be immediately confirmed with a PCR test.
- COVID-19 Designees must maintain all testing results for at least 21 days.
- Testing Requirements for Competition
- All Athletes and Personnel for any college based in the County must receive PCR testing (specimen collection and results reported) within 48 hours prior to any home or away competition if they will be at the facility where the competition takes place on the day of the competition. If testing covered under Section I.1 falls within this time period, Athletes and Personnel are not required to receive additional testing.
- Any team visiting the County for a competition must test and provide results for all Athletes and Personnel who will be traveling to the County within 48 hours prior to the competition. Visiting teams must use PCR testing to comply with this provision. Results must be provided to the COVID-19 Designee for the team against which they will be competing.
- Any person who will be officiating a competition in the County must be tested and provide results within 48 hours prior to the competition. Officials must be tested using PCR testing to comply with this provision. Results must be provided to the COVID-19 Designee for each team or, if a visiting team does not have a COVID-19 Designee, to a person the visiting team designates to receive these results.
- The college's COVID-19 Designee for the team is responsible for collecting and reviewing all results from the visiting team and officials prior to the competition, and taking all action required by the State Guidance and the County Health Officer's Order in response to any positive tests.
- The college's COVID-19 Designee for the team shall notify the visiting team if any Athletes or Personnel receive a positive test result from a specimen collected within 72 hours of the end of the competition.
- Athlete Households
- Athletes must live exclusively with other teammates. Alternatively, an Athlete may live with his or her spouse and children. Households in which Athletes are living with other teammates must be comprised of no more than 12 Athletes. No member of a household may switch from one household to another.
- Athlete households may not have guests who are not members of that Athlete household.
- COVID-19 Designees must maintain a list of Athlete household members, the address where each Athlete resides, and the name of each athlete in each household. Upon request, the COVID-19 Designees shall immediately provide the lists to the County Public Health Department.
- Except as provided in this section, all Athlete households must live in on-campus or campus-affiliated housing. The college must assign a monitor who is responsible for ensuring compliance with this Directive and the State Guidance. The monitor may not be an Athlete or Personnel.
- Colleges may allow Athlete households to live off campus if both of the following conditions are satisfied:
- The college identifies a monitor who is responsible for ensuring compliance with this Directive and the State Guidance at all off-campus Athlete household facilities. The monitor may not be an Athlete or Personnel.
- The designated monitor conducts an unannounced inspection of each off-campus Athlete household at least two times per week to ensure compliance.
- All Athletes and Personnel must be trained to immediately report any positive test to COVID-19 Designees.
- COVID-19 Designees for each team must report positive tests for Athletes and Personnel associated with the team within 4 hours of receiving notice of any positive test. All reports must be submitted at the County Public Health Department's Education Case and Contact Reporting Portal, available at: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/school-guidance.aspx.
- COVID-19 Designees for each team must also send an email notice of positive tests for Athletes and Personnel associated with the team within 4 hours of receiving notice of any positive test to email@example.com. The email must state the full name of the athlete, college, team, and date of the test.
- COVID-19 Designees for each team must provide a list with the names of all Athletes and Personnel to the County prior to initiating athletic activity. The list must include the full name, address, email, and phone number of each individual on the list.
- Physical Distancing
- Personnel must maintain 6 feet of social distance from all Athletes and other Personnel at all times.
- Athletes must maintain 6 feet of social distance from all Athletes outside their own household (except as necessary during athletic activities).
- Trainers who are designated Certified Athletic Trainers may be within 6 feet of Athletes to the extent necessary to provide services to Athletes, but must wear appropriate medical personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times when providing such services.
- Ventilation at Indoor Facilities
- Colleges with athletic programs at indoor facilities are strongly encouraged to comply with the Health Officer's “Guidance for Ventilation and Air Filtration Systems (COVID-19).”
- Mandatory Requirements for Professional Athletics
- Professional sports training and professional sports events may occur only upon approval by the Health Officer of a facility-specific risk reduction protocol.
- Professional sports organizations that have obtained approval prior to the issuance of this Directive are not required to re-submit their protocols.
For answers to frequently asked questions about this industry and other topics, please see the FAQ page. Please note that this Directive may be updated. For up-to-date information on the Health Officer Order, visit the County Public Health Department's website at www.sccgov.org/coronavirus.