More than two dozen Covid-19 cases were traced to youth basketball at a California gym, health officials say

More than two dozen people have tested positive for Covid-19 after participating in youth basketball tournaments this month at a gym in Northern California,...

Posted: Nov 27, 2020 3:48 PM

More than two dozen people have tested positive for Covid-19 after participating in youth basketball tournaments this month at a gym in Northern California, county health officials said.

Those infected were involved in tournaments November 7-8 at the Courtside Basketball Center in Rocklin, Placer County health officials said this week.

The tournaments took place despite the state's pandemic-related prohibition against youth sports competitions, the county said. Although youth training and conditioning are allowed with distancing and other restrictions, competitions and tournaments are not.

"Unfortunately, Courtside Basketball Center has not been responsive to our outreach over many months," the county's interim health officer, Dr. Rob Oldham, told CNN affiliate KCRA.

The Courtside Basketball Center did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

The center's website says it hosted "Fall Fest" tournaments November 7-8. The event was organized by Hotshots Youth Basketball and was open to boys 8 and under through varsity level and girls 13 and under through varsity level, the site says.

Hotshots Youth Basketball League, which operates out of the Courtside Basketball Center and lists the same phone number on its website, also did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

The Courtside Basketball Center's website includes a page of Covid-19 safety protocols which, among other rules, state that all players, coaches, parents, referees and staff must pass a temperature check at the door and wear masks.

Anyone who was at the basketball center that weekend "may have been exposed to coronavirus and are advised to quarantine and seek testing for the virus, regardless of whether they have symptoms," the county said in an online notice.

Some people who were exposed during the November 7-8 tournaments also participated in later tournaments at the facility, the county health office said. Anyone who was at the center during those subsequent tournaments also should get tested, the county said.

Placer County, northeast of Sacramento and home to almost 400,000 people, has reported more than 6,200 Covid-19 cases and 68 Covid-19 deaths across the pandemic.

Placer County's health office urged the public to avoid any indoor activity at the basketball center, because the county currently falls in the purple, or most restrictive, tier of California's four risk levels for coronavirus.

On its website the Courtside Basketball Center lists four upcoming tournaments through the end of December.

The state assigns counties to tiers according to test positivity and Covid-19 case rates. In counties in the purple tier, many nonessential businesses must close indoor operations.

"As a gym/fitness facility, Courtside Basketball Center may only operate outdoors at this time," the county's online notice reads.

At the time of the November 7-8 tournaments, Placer County was at a less-restricted level, the red tier.

At that tier, gyms and fitness centers can host indoor activities with modifications and with capacity limited to 10%, according to state guidelines. But the state ban on youth competitions still was in effect.

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