Coronavirus: Florida to reopen youth summer camps, Oklahoma to resume school sports without restrictions

Coronavirus: Florida to reopen youth summer camps, Oklahoma to resume school sports without restrictions
Young people are seen practicing football. (Photo via Fox23.com)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has lifted all state restrictions on youth sports, activities and summer camps, effective immediately, WFTV reported.

The governor said it’s time to let parents decide what’s best for their children and allowed them the opportunity to send them to community centers, sports leagues or summer camps.

DeSantis made the announcement from a community center in Jacksonville.

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He cited Florida’s COVID-19 data as a reason to lift the restrictions, saying that no Floridians under the age of 25 have died from the virus. He said keeping day care centers open did not lead to a spike in infections in the state’s youngest citizens and believes that parents, coaches and camp counselors can put practices in place to keep kids safe.

DeSantis went on to say that the vast majority of severe cases have been in the population of 90 and older, WFTV reported. That age group has surpassed all severe cases of people under the age of 65, so he believes getting some normality back in the lives of our youth is the right thing to do.

The governor added that parents have the final say and if they don’t feel something is safe they’ll make the decision that’s right for their family.

The sentiment is similar to ones in Oklahoma, where high school sports activities can return immediately without any COVID-19 restrictions.

In a special meeting Friday morning held virtually over Zoom, the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors voted down the organization’s three-phase plan for sports and activities to return with COVID-19 restrictions on June 1. The vote was 7-6 against. That means the standard rules that apply every year will be in place starting immediately. There will not be any social distancing guidelines or other COVID-19 restrictions in place, KOKI-TV reported.

School districts can still implement their own rules related to the coronavirus pandemic. Athletic directors for schools in multiple Oklahoma counties told KOKI-TV that they’re still planning on starting back sports no earlier than June 1 and that they will have their own COVID-19 precautions in place.

No sports are currently in season in the state. The decision applies to things like summer leagues, camps, clinics, conditioning and weight training.