Affirming “sports to our children are just really important,” Governor Carney said today that some youth sports activities could again take the field on Monday, June 15.
Non-contact sports such as baseball, softball, lacrosse and field hockey may resume, but they organizers and athletes will need to follow guidelines forthcoming from the state this Friday.
Carney made the announcement as Delaware reached two COVID milestones, passing the 10,000 mark for confirmed positive COVID cases and recording the 400th death attributed to the virus.
Carney, who played multiple sports in high school, college and as an adult, acknowledged, “If there’s anything that gets emotions flowing, it’s youth sports… We’ve heard from a lot of parents and coaches, and rightly so,” he said at today’s press conference.
Karyl Rattay, the director of the Division of Public Health said that her department would issue guidance on Friday around the resumption of all sports, with the exception of high-contact sports such as football, hockey, rugby and wrestling.
She added that while some sports and team competitions can resume, tournaments – where teams play more than one other team — are still not permitted in Phase 2.
“Many youth sports, by nature, violate social distancing rules. To play the game, you are violating that six feet… So it’s not surprising right that we have caution and that we’re trying to balance the risks to move us back into our new normal.
Governor Carney said the calculations surrounding each youth sports guideline as it related to social distancing had to be carefully considered.
“Some of the guidance that I’ve seen makes my head spin,” he said. “But the reality is that the virus is still out there. Yes, it’s true, children have not been getting the virus or at least have not been symptomatic in getting tested positive at rates like adults… but we worry about them carrying the virus to their grandmothers and grandfathers, and that’s our biggest concern.”