Pac 12 starts after COVID rules changed

Due to the widespread nature of the Covid-19 pandemic this year, we’ve seen many major sports temporarily suspended for a time before returning. However, their return meant temporary strict rules had to be passed down to adapt to the pandemic and, after that happened, it became possible for many college football teams to restart their seasons.

The news that recently made the rounds in the media claimed that the California Department of Public Health revised its guidance for collegiate athletics and approved of letting teams practice in groups of 75 when outdoors, only if they are able to issue daily antigen testing for Covid-19, which well predicted recently.

Formerly, the guidelines limited the teams practicing in groups, when outdoors, to only larger than 12 thus limiting the types of practice that could be carried out by football teams. Many football exercises were scrapped to satisfy this guideline. Ever since, California Gov. Gavin Newsom claimed that they wouldn’t stop a football campaign from starting in fall.

UCLA, USC, Stanford, and California were stated as the schools the most impacted because their local governments had been waiting on the state to revise its guidelines before providing clearance at the local level. All four states in the Pac-12 eventually did approve of the plans, based on a daily antigen testing that has been agreed upon with FDA-approved manufacturers.

The Pac-12 season schedule was thus approved and begins this weekend with USC hosting Arizona State, Stanford traveling to Oregon, UCLA traveling to Colorado and Cal hosting Washington.

Dropping a statement several weeks ago, Los Angeles County of Public Health wrote: “USC and UCLA are allowed to resume practice provided they comply fully to the County’s Institute of Higher Education Protocols and the CDPH guidance for collegiate sports.”

Stanford, located in Santa Clara County, was the only one yet to be cleared at the end of that week, but that changed later.

“We understand the desire of many sports teams to resume practice, just as many businesses are eager to resume. But our county remains in the red tier, where the risk of SARS-CoV-2 spread is considered ‘substantial,'” the County of Santa Clara said in a statement at the time. “The County Public Health Department must consider both the guidance issued by the State of California just last evening, as well as the local risk reduction order, to evaluate whether conditions are present that would enable an activity to safely resume.”

Stanford’s athletic department later had to submit: “written, facility-specific COVID-19 prevention plan at every facility, perform a comprehensive risk assessment of all work and athletic areas, and designate a person at each facility to implement the plan.” That happened successfully and the Pac-12 was completely ready to go.

San Jose State, on the other hand, was put in a different situation. The Spartans, also in Santa Clara County, are in the Mountain West Conference. Their conference only asked for the antigen testing to be carried out three times per week, which mobile casinos formerly stated not all parties were going to be happy with the guideline.

The Spartans instead took the unusual approach of moving its football practices to Humboldt State, in Arcata, where the same guidelines were not being enforced.

Since then, SJSU has played games at its home stadium in its home county and has started 2-0 in the Mountain West. Fresno State and San Diego State also have started its seasons with no reported COVID-related difficulty.

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