Santa Clara County updates health order to allow outdoor activities like youth sports

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 23: A general view of soccer balls during the Inter Miami CF training session at Barry University on January 23, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Santa Clara County health officials announced an update to the county's COVID-19 health order Monday, allowing for multiple outdoor activities including youth sports and performing arts to resume.

The health order revision will take effect Friday, according to county officials. The county also plans to relax restrictions on multi-household outdoor gatherings to discourage residents from gathering indoors, where the risk of coronavirus transmission is higher. 

The update follows the state's announcement last Friday that it would allow outdoor youth sports to resume with a handful of caveats, requiring regular testing for contact sports like football and rugby and linking the resumption of some sports like baseball to the reopening tier in which a county is placed. 

Santa Clara County Health Officer and Director of Public Health Dr. Sara Cody acknowledged the need to maintain mental and physical health as the region nears the anniversary of the first coronavirus-related stay-at-home order. 

"Children and adults alike need to participate in the many activities that support their mental, physical, and social wellbeing," Cody said in a statement. "We know that the state has made rapid changes to its rules on athletic activities. It is important that changes are consistent across the board."

The updated guidance on outdoor activities is expected to be posted to the county's coronavirus website,, in the coming days.