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Basketball tournament linked to dozens of COVID-19 cases

A basketball tournament held in Placer County sparked a health alert from health officials after more than 30 people at the games tested positive for COVID-19.

The event was held at Courtside Basketball Center in Rocklin, about 22 miles northeast of Sacramento, on Nov. 7 and 8.

"Our message to the public today is that no one should be attending such tournaments at this time," said Dr. Rob Oldham, from the county's public health department. Anyone "who has attended tournaments at courtside in November is also encouraged to get tested."

Some of the players who competed there went on to play in more games elsewhere, creating a challenge to perform contact tracing, health officials say. 

The tournament was held in violation of current state guidelines on activities and gatherings amid the pandemic, health officials said. 

But Courtside's owner claims that the facility follows proper precautions and vowed to remain open. Masks are required to enter the complex, according to signs posted at the entrance.

Placer County's health department, however, lacks the authority to issue citations to scofflaws and requested that state officials step up with enforcement. 

SEE MORE: Many leaving California amid COVID-19 pandemic