Acknowledgement of Health Risks for Moderate and High Contact Sports
Please read the following note and then sign the Acknowledgement of Health Risk Form below, as required by the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). Your child may not participate in Urban School Athletics Season 2 or 3 sports without your approval.
The collective effort and sacrifice of San Francisco residents staying at home limited the spread of COVID-19. But community transmission of COVID-19 within San Francisco continues, including transmission by individuals who are infected and contagious, but have no symptoms. Infected persons are contagious 48 hours before developing symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”), and many are contagious without ever developing symptoms (“asymptomatic”). Pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic people are likely unaware that they have COVID-19.
Sports, dance, and cardio/aerobic exercise are higher risk for COVID-19 transmission, and have been linked to numerous outbreaks. In other parts of the U.S., youth sports have been a significant source of COVID-19 spread among youth. The risks are generally much higher indoors than outdoors for these activities. But these activities are higher risk for COVID-19 in any environment because people breathe much more air when exercising, and have close contact in many sports. During exercise, a person with COVID-19 breathes many more infectious droplets into the air. The infectious droplets in their breath travel further because they are breathing harder. People are also more likely to be infected during exercise because they are breathing more air.
The availability of organized youth sports activities hosted by a school program, childcare program, or out of school time program, is an important step in the resumption of activities. But the decision by the Health Officer to allow organized youth sports activities that follow required safety rules, does not mean that attending and participating in organized youth sports activities is free of risk. Enrolling a child in organized youth sports could increase the risk of the child becoming infected with COVID-19. Moderate-contact and high-contact sports, which can require frequent, close contact between participants, increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission. While the majority of children that become infected do well, there is still much more to learn about coronavirus in children, including from recent reports of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).
Each parent or guardian must determine for themselves if they are willing to take the risk of enrolling their child in organized youth sports, including whether they need to take additional precautions to protect the health of their child and others in the household. They should carefully review the SFDPH COVID-19 youth safety guidance here. They should particularly consider the risks to household members who have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness, including older adults and other people with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems. Parents and guardians may want to discuss these risks and their concerns with their pediatrician or other health care provider.