SANTA CLARA, CA – The San Francisco 49ers will be a homeless team for at least the next three weeks.
This is because Santa Clara County, home to the 49ers and Levi’s Stadium, on Saturday afternoon issued COVID-19’s enhanced guidelines for professional, dormitory and youth sports, which effectively impose a three-week ban on contact sports in the county.
Saturday’s announcement came in the wake of a growing number of COVID-19 cases in California and the Gulf area.
The ban and other related policies, including a 14-day quarantine for those traveling to the county from more than 150 miles, begin Monday.
“All leisure activities that are in physical contact or in the immediate vicinity of persons outside the household, including all contact sports, are temporarily prohibited,” the regulation states. “People can continue to engage in outdoor athletics and leisure activities where social distance is always sustainable.”
The 49ers currently have two home games within three weeks, on December 7 against Buffalo Bills in Monday night football and on December 13 against Washington Football Team. According to the rules, the team must find an alternative place to play the games as well as hold the exercises.
At a press conference, Santa Clara County Councilor James Williams made it clear that no one will be exempt from the new rules.
“[This] temporarily suspends activities that require direct physical contact or interaction in Santa Clara.
Williams said the 49 and other teams in the county were in contact with county officials. The team had no comments early Saturday afternoon, but is gathering information to understand what’s coming and what opportunities there are to continue the season.
Although there are some obvious alternative locations in the Bay Area, it is not yet known how viable they are or whether further shutdowns are expected in these counties.
The new health guidelines are not limited to the 49s either. Stanford and San Jose State football as well as the NHL San Jose also play home games in Santa Clara County. Stanford will host a home game on Dec. 12, while San Jose State will hold home games until Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.