Youth & school sports in Fresno County allowed to hold practices under strict guidelines

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FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – The Fresno County Department of Public Health released guidelines that youth and school sports must follow as they begin their practices again.

“What we’ve gone ahead and permitted is what’s called a phase of conditioning, meaning that this is very low contact,” said Dr. Rais Vohra, the Fresno County interim health officer.

Fresno Unified students started attending conditioning practices on Monday, but under strict rules.

Students and coaches beforehand must answer questions that ask if they’re experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

This initial phase allows team to conduct practices with pods of no more than 10 students. Once the pods are formed, the members will remain the same to avoid mixing with other student athletes and minimize the risk of any potential transmission.

“The only thing we’re asking our coaches and our sites to do is just to condition with their kids, get them moving, whatever you can do within your chosen field, try to build some skill into that,” said Pat Riddlesprigger, the Fresno Unified athletic manager.

The goal is to avoid any physical contact. Fresno Unified is not allowing their teams to use any equipment, and locker rooms will remain closed.

However, Riddlesprigger said students and coaches are excited to get back to practice, although it won’t look the same.

“For the kids to actually come back and see the coaches and see some of their friends that they’ve lost contact with, it’s refreshing,” he said.

He added that while they are allowed to practice, it’s important to be as safe as possible.

“I guess it’s a new time and it’s a new way of actually conducting sports, but we’re trying to make sure that we’re doing our best, doing our due diligence to make sure that no one’s in harm’s way,” Riddlesprigger said.

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