Santa Clara County (Calif.) issued a temporary ban on all contact sports, the county announced Saturday.
The ban, which begins at 12:01 a.m. Monday and lasts through at least Dec. 21, applies to “sporting activity involving contact with other people.” This ban applies to the San Francisco 49ers, as well as Stanford and San Jose State’s football teams. Cal, located in nearby Alameda County, is not affected.
“I know this is not what any of us want to hear, nor is this situation one any of us want to be in, but here we are,” Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said, via the San Jose Mercury-News.
Santa Clara, a county of nearly 2 million people, reported a record 531 new infections on Friday.
The county will also require all persons who travel more than 150 miles away from the county to enter a 14-day quarantine but, since that does not go into effect until Monday, it won’t affect the 49ers as they return home from a game Sunday at the LA Rams.
The Niners, however, will have to find new homes for their Dec. 7 home game with Buffalo and their Dec. 13 date with Washington. San Francisco also has a Jan. 3 home game with Seattle.
This is the first time a local government has forced an NFL team to decamp from its home market. The Canadian government forced MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays to temporarily move to Buffalo, and the Toronto Raptors will play in Tampa this coming season.
Stanford, a 24-23 winner over Cal on Friday, has a Dec. 5 trip to Washington and a Dec. 12 home game with Oregon State left.
San Jose State — off to a 4-0 start to this season — has two games left, both of them at home: Dec. 5 against Hawaii and Dec. 11 versus Nevada. The Spartans have had two straight games cancelled, including a showdown against fellow unbeaten Boise State. That game was cancelled just hours before kickoff due to virus issues within Boise State’s program.
San Jose State moved 320 miles to Humboldt State to conduct its training camp, while Stanford, on Santa Clara County’s northwestern edge, moved to a nearby high school.
San Jose State is not the first Mountain West team forced to move; New Mexico moved its team operations to Las Vegas earlier this month.
The move will not affect the Pac-12 Championship, which will be played at a campus location on Dec. 19 instead of its usual home of Levi’s Stadium.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.