94 cases of COVID-19 traced back to illegal youth basketball tournament in California

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Posted at 9:35 AM, Dec 14, 2020

Health officials in Santa Clara County, California, say that they have traced 94 cases of COVID-19 to a youth basketball tournament that took place illegally at a nearby indoor sports complex last month.

According to CNN, Courtside Basketball Center in Rocklin, California — located northwest of Sacramento — hosted a "Fall Fest" tournament on Nov. 7 and 8 that featured several teams and dozens of players and coaches.

On Friday, The Mercury News reported that a total of 94 cases of COVID-19 — including 77 in Santa Clara County alone — could be traced back to the tournament.

The Mercury News says the outbreak includes 39 "middle- and high school players," three coaches and 35 additional contacts.

"This outbreak is a troubling reminder that the widespread prevalence of COVID-19 in our community threatens all of us, and does not limit itself to geographic boundaries," Santa Clara County's assistant public health officer, Dr. Monika Roy, said in a statement.

The California Department of Public Health said in a release that is has opened an "enforcement investigation" into the tournament's operator.

CNN reported last month that the Courtside Basketball Center's website included a note that urged anyone who was in attendance for the tournament to get tested for the virus, "regardless of whether they have symptoms."

As of last month, CNN reports that the complex had hoped to host four more basketball tournaments by the end of the year. The center's website now says it is "closed until further notice."

Santa Clara County — which is located south of San Francisco and is home to the city of San Jose — has among the strictest COVID-19 restrictions in the country. The county has banned most contact sports at all levels — youth, college and professional — and the restrictions have forced the San Francisco 49ers to move two home games to Arizona.

"Public Health orders, directives, and guidance around contact sports and sporting events are in place for a reason. The risk of transmission in these settings can easily result in community spread that threatens the most vulnerable among us," Roy said.