Return of sports on campus raises concern for safety

Spring sports are beginning to make their comeback as schools are approved due to the update of the California Youth Sports Guidelines and Los Angeles Count’s approval on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. There is a perceived risk, but with recent advancements and strict enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines, practice is considered to be safe. Games of close-contact sports, in contrast, are much more of a concern because of the physical contact students have with each other.  

Now, with over 2.4 million vaccinations in LA County as of Mar. 3, 2021, hopes for the return of sports are much more realistic and safe. Walnut High School requires everyone to wear masks and fill out a COVID-19 Symptoms Report every day they arrive on campus. This allows sports practice to be low-risk, and students will be able to regain their passion for their sports and build connections to the outside world. 

However, games with other schools should be considered a completely different category than practice, and The Center for Disease Control and Prevention warns of the high risk of spread when in contact with other schools. If there is a case of COVID-19 in one school, it will spread across other schools. 

The only encouraged solution to this issue would be to either suspend all sport games or only allow non-contact sports to compete. This would include track and field, cross country, golf, tennis and swim. Only allowing a few sports to compete seems unfair, but in the direction the school and community is going, it is a better option than having all or no sports continue.

For instance, track and field keeps masks on and follows social distancing at all times. The sport does not require any contact between athletes and can operate with a regulated amount of people in a large area. 

In contrast, football players play in close proximity to each other from start to finish of each game. However, before jumping to conclusions, WHS football has been constantly social distancing, wearing masks and playing games amongst the team. This leaves the option for practice, but the unpredictability of games and transport between different schools poses a much more serious hazard. As of right now, practices are safe as long as COVID-19 guidelines are followed, but games should be limited until vaccine standards are more stable.

By Remy Wong, Sports Editor
Editorial Cartoon by Rikka Tagayuna