State Watch

49ers barred from playing in stadium under county's new virus restrictions

New county restrictions will bar the San Francisco 49ers from practicing or playing in the team's stadium for three weeks as coronavirus cases surge in Santa Clara County.

County officials have imposed the restrictions, which prohibit contact sports, from Monday through Dec. 21. The new rules come after the county reported a new high of 760 cases on Saturday, according to ABC News. County health officer Sara Cody said hospitalizations were also on the rise, doubling since mid-November and reaching a record of 239 on Saturday.

"Our case rates have been surging since November. In fact, we have the highest case rate of any county in the San Francisco Bay area," she said in a press briefing.

"We are aware of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department's emergency directive," the 49ers said in a statement. "We are working with the NFL and our partners on operational plans and will share details as they are confirmed."

In addition to preventing play and practice at Levi's Stadium, the rules will force the Stanford Cardinals to move or postpone their scheduled Dec. 12 game, according to ABC.

The county restrictions will also impose mandatory two-week quarantines for anyone traveling more than 150 miles from home. It is unclear whether this will apply to the 49ers' in-progress trip to Los Angeles for a Sunday game against the Rams.

The new rules will also restrict hotel use to health care workers and patients in isolation or quarantine, as well as to essential travel. Outdoor gatherings will be held to 100 people under the restrictions, according to ABC News.

"This pandemic is like a high-speed train, and our projections tell us that we are on target to derail by around the third week of December if we don't apply brakes right now with all our collective might," Cody said.

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