Fresno County officials say they've seen hundreds of COVID cases among students, staff

The cases have impacted team athletics and extracurricular school activities.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Friday night football is back.

The games that weren't canceled saw packed stadiums, cheerleaders on the sidelines and players on the field.

The games kicked off as the Fresno County Department of Public Health issued updates on the number of COVID-19 cases at local schools.

The lines to get in to the football game between Bullard and Central High were long, but fans felt it was worth it.

"It's a great feeling, been waiting for a long time. Just glad the boys are getting the chance to do they thing," said Shlenda Allen who was at the game to support Bullard High.

Cheerleaders hit the sidelines, players hit the field, and hundreds of family, friends and students poured in to see athletes under the stadium lights.

Air quality forced multiple games across the Valley to be canceled, including all home games in the Visalia Unified School District.

"We were concerned, I know the news was monitoring the air quality, so good thing we're having the game today." said Javier Medrano, who was at the game to support Central High.

The Fresno County Department of Public Health announced late Friday that it's seen hundreds of COVID-19 cases linked to students and staff in the last 14 days.

The cases have impacted team athletics and extracurricular school activities.

Some fans chose to wear masks to the game Friday night, others didn't.

Health officials say either way is fine.

"You know we don't recommend outdoor masking in general because of Covid restriction or because of Covid precautions just because the outdoors is such a great place to get good air ventilation," said Dr. Rais Vohra, the interim health officer with the Fresno County Dept. of Public Health.

Even though football is a contact sport, officials said, in general, spacing is maintained and masks are not recommended.

However, a doctor with Valley Children's Hospital says that doesn't apply to everyone equally.

"If that person is in a household with a very high risk person or is more high risk themselves, then I think they should definitely wear the mask more than other people might," said Dr. Karen Dahl.

Public Health officials are encouraging anyone who is eligible, to get vaccinated, especially those who are around children who can't get vaccinated themselves.

You can find more details about youth COVID-19 cases in Fresno County by clicking here.

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