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Teams Scramble As Santa Clara Restricts Sports

"49ers @ Levi's Stadium #NinersYodel #LevisStadium" by Photographing Travis is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Protective restrictions for crouds, contact sports, and long distance travel are challenges for sports teams in Santa Clara County

Sports teams in Santa Clara County were surprised to learn, this weekend, that their play and practices will be put on hold.  County health officials announced that college and professional sports programs are allowed to only operate outdoors, and then only if athletes do not come within six feet of one another at any time. Athletic activities invoving contact or close proximity are prohibited at least through December 21st. Teams or programs that travel outside of Santa Clara County to play will be prohibited from playing within the county for the rest of this period. Those who travel over 150 miles will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

This will impact football and basketball programs at Stanford and San Jose State among other colleges and universities. 

And it will affect the pros, too. San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said the restrictions have the team scrambling to figure out where to practice and play.

“We need a place where we can feel safe and stay 'cause we’re not going to be able to go to our homes anymore,” Shanahan said, at a press conference. “Second thing is we need a practice field to play on, and then, obviously, we need a stadium to play in.  I’m not going to be that picky.”

The 49ers will play their next two scheduled home games in Arizona at the home of the Cardinals, beginning next Monday.

(he/him/his) I’m a second-generation Berkeley native. I feel lucky to have grown up in an area with a rich non-commercial and alternative radio scene. As a kid I hid a transistor radio below my pillow, exploring across the dial, long after bedtime. I got to work in radio production with KDVS at UC Davis while getting a degree in Wildlife Photography and Writing in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Documentary film and television production was my main work after college. Volunteering with the Gay Men’s Health Collective of the Berkeley Free Clinic, deepened my interest in science and health advocacy, and drew me into work and further studies in public health. In addition to the Bay Area I have lived and worked in Washington, DC, Central America and Mexico. I’m currently involved helping free clinics across California and I’m a medical student educator in several Western states. I love hearing and sharing people’s stories and working to help make lives better. I’m very happy to be learning and practicing journalism and audio production with KALW.