San Diego Unified to Require COVID-19 Vaccinations for Sports and Other Extracurricular Activities

As COVID-19 cases increase in the county, the San Diego Unified School District plans to require mandatory vaccinations for all students participating in extracurricular activities, including sports.

The change was announced in a memo sent this week by the district to its 16 high school athletic directors. He also said tests would be required for student-athletes participating in indoor sports.

Last month, a judge overturned the district’s mandate to vaccinate students against COVID-19, saying it was in conflict with state law. The warrant would have required unvaccinated students aged 16 and over to learn remotely via independent study from January 24.

Scott Giusti, director of physical education, health and athletics for SDUSD, said on Tuesday that the district’s interpretation is that the ruling only applies to the school day, not to extracurricular activities such as athletics, cheering, orchestra and theater.

“We try to keep the winter activities going, trying to make sure our athletes / students have a great experience,” said Giusti. “We are trying to keep everyone safe.”

The district also said in the memo that closing all non-essential and off-season activities would be required.

Giusti said some people “have interpreted this to mean that we are shutting down winter sports. We are not closing athletics or any other extracurricular activity this winter. “

What SDUSD does is force off-season sports – football weightlifting, baseball and softball conditioning, group training or cheering for a competition in April – to take a break. three weeks.

“Coming out of the holidays, we expected a crescendo in cases of COVID-19,” Giusti said. “As soon as it is certain, these off-season activities can resume. We are not talking about an extended downtime.

“We wanted to be careful, but nothing has changed when it comes to seasonal sports. Sure, there are challenges at our school sites, but schools do a good job of keeping their students safe. “

Other school districts in the county – Grossmont, Sweetwater, Escondido, Oceanside – currently have a “business-as-usual” policy.

Donnie Carroll, director of the Grossmont Athletic Conference, said: “We haven’t made any changes. We have changed the basketball league schedule for Friday to allow Mt. Miguel a home doubles program. The construction of their gymnasium has been delayed. This gives them the opportunity to organize a double program.

El Camino High’s boys and girls basketball teams have reworked schedules due to COVID-19.

Several schools – San Marcos, Rancho Bernardo, Westview, Francis Parker, La Jolla Country Day and Mater Dei Catholic among them – have halted basketball activities during the holidays amid COVID-19 concerns.

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