Governor Newsom Announces Vaccine Prioritization for Education Personnel, Release of Updated Youth Sports Guidance

Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced two significant COVID-19 developments related to vaccine prioritization for education workers and the release of updated youth sports guidance.

Education Personnel to be Prioritized for Vaccine

Under the Governor’s announcements today, staff working in-person in public schools or childcare settings must be prioritized for vaccines statewide beginning March 1, 2021. Working in person include those currently working in-person or those that will be working in-person in the coming weeks, as confirmed by school employers. 10 percent of first doses statewide will be prioritized for education personnel, and the state’s third-party administrator (TPA) will prioritize a set amount of appointments for school staff and childcare providers through MyTurn in partnership with school districts, county offices of education, childcare providers, and labor organizations.

The move by the Newsom Administration follows the Thursday introduction of companion measures AB 86 and SB 86 by Assembly and Senate Budget Committees related to the safe reopening of schools, including vaccine prioritization for education personnel. On Thursday evening, Governor Newsom released a statement on the Legislature’s proposal, highlighting the actions of his Administration to safely reopen schools to date. Notably, Governor Newsom in his statement indicated the legislative proposal “doesn’t go far enough or fast enough” in reopening schools and expressed concern that the legislature’s plan would delay school reopenings statewide.

Updated Youth and Adult Sports Guidance Takes Effect Feb. 26

The Newsom Administration additionally issued updated youth sports guidance that will become effective on Friday, February 26. The guidance applies to all organized youth and adult sports, including school and community-sponsored programs, and privately organized clubs and leagues. Under the updated guidance, outdoor high- and moderate-risk sport competitions may resume in Red (Substantial) tier and Purple (Widespread) tier, with modifications, including testing requirements for certain outdoor high contact sports.

Under the updated guidance, outdoor high-contact sports can be played in counties in the Purple or Red tier with a case rate at or below 14 per 100,000. Weekly testing will be required for football, rugby, and water polo participants age 13 and over in counties with a case rate between seven and 14 per 100,000. Weekly testing is required for all participants and coaches in these sports. Sporting competitions must additionally adhere to various other requirements related to informed consent, face coverings, and physical distancing.

The updated guidance is available here.