SAN DIEGO – San Diego Unified School District sent a memo to all athletic directors last week, stating the ban of all out-of-season sport activities due to a spike in COVID cases.

That means after the bell rings, all athletes should not be working out.

“Let’s be honest, our school gets out at 3:33 in the afternoon – they are no safer at 3:32 than at 3:34 when school gets out,” Scripps Ranch High School Football Coach Marlon Gardinera said.

Gardinera says the new rule does not impact his athletes because he gets to condition with his team last period. Other out-of-season sports are not so lucky, the coach added.

“Programs like our baseball team where they’d like to start scrimmaging other programs,” he said. “Most baseball programs play winter ball, well with this rule you can’t do winter ball.”

Gardinera says extra-curricular activities help students, which he knows firsthand.

“I know what kind of trouble I was getting after school and I know that youth programs and sports programs and the band and the theater all the different things kids get to do after school,” he said. “I know it makes a difference in all of those schools lives.”

In-season sports could see changes in the future, including limiting the amount of people in the stands at indoor events.

While other school districts might be enforcing vaccinate mandates, San Diego Unified says they are not requiring student athletes to get vaccinated:

“Many have asked if we are requiring athletes and other extracurricular participants to be vaccinated. Currently, we do not plan to require a vaccine for this group of students however, we will continue to encourage all eligible students to get vaccinated and plan for the potential that the Court of Appeal will allow us to move forward in the future.”

The memo states there could be more changes in February.