Sports

North Coast moves closer to a return to baseball and softball

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File photo – The McKinleyville Panthers and the rest of the H-DNL could be celebrating a return to baseball in the coming weeks.

By Ray Hamill — The North Coast could get the go-ahead for a return to competitive baseball and softball within the next couple of weeks, with Humboldt County now on the verge of joining Del Norte County in the red COVID tier.

The declining number of COVID cases in the area means Humboldt County could move to the red or second least restricted tier as early as next week.

That would allow for a return to competitive baseball and softball, two additional sports permitted in the red tier under the state’s youth sports guidelines.

The sports would still have to be cleared for a return by local health officials.

All of that, however, may be a moot point depending on an expected announcement from Governor Gavin Newsom in regard to high school sports before the weekend.

Only low-contact outdoor sports such as cross country, golf, tennis and track and field are currently permitted under the purple tier.

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Ian Hoffman told reporters on Wednesday that if the current COVID numbers hold here it is very likely the county will move to the red tier next Tuesday.

Both Humboldt and Del Norte counties would still have to reach the orange tier before football and soccer would be permitted, and they would have to reach the yellow or least restricted tier before basketball and wrestling could return.

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