- Sporting events in the Bay Area county of Santa Clara may not resume until late November as the world continues to fight the coronavirus disease.
- The news could affect the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, which plays its home games in the county’s Levi’s Stadium.
- The San Francisco Bay Area was the first US region to enforce a shelter-in-place order on March 17.
- Since then, other parts of the country have looked to it as a template for how to respond to the virus.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Officials of a Bay Area county just gave an indicator of when one aspect of life could return to normal as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
Santa Clara County executive officer Dr. Jeffrey Smith said in a virtual Tuesday board of supervisors meeting that sporting events likely won’t pick up again until late November.
That could affect the San Francisco 49ers NFL team and its Santa Clara-based home of Levi’s Stadium. Other teams that call the county home include the San Jose Sharks hockey team, the San Jose Earthquakes soccer team, and Stanford University athletic programs.
“I’m sorry to say, I don’t expect to have any sports games until at least Thanksgiving, and we’d be lucky to have them by Thanksgiving,” Smith said in the meeting according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “This is not something that’s going to be easy to do.”
The NFL, of which the 49ers are apart, is moving forward with some of its programming, such as its April draft, despite the current widespread shutdowns due to the coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19. Its facilities remain closed, however.
Even if the league goes ahead with its upcoming season as planned — which is slated to kick off in September —the 49ers may not be able to play at their home stadium, as the Chronicle notes. Local governments have been able to make many of their own decisions regarding shelter-in-place order restrictions, and if county officials ban home games until Thanksgiving — or two-thirds into the NFL season — then that would include Levi’s Stadium.
The 49ers said in a statement, according to the Chronicle, that the team is in close contact with the NFL as well as event organizers and will share updates “when appropriate.”
The San Francisco Bay Area was the first region in the country to enforce a shelter-in-place order on March 17 that would ban mass gatherings, including large sporting events, and instead keep residents inside their homes as much as possible to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease. Some local health experts have said the early social distancing measures taken are working to “flatten the curve,” or to slow the spread of the virus enough to allow the healthcare system to efficiently treat patients.
Other parts of the US have since followed suit on implementing stay-at-home orders, and now much of the country is looking to the region to know how long these kinds of social distancing measures could last and when life could return to normal.
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Santa Clara County has also been the most severely affected out of the original six Bay Area counties involved in the shelter-in-place order, though it’s also the most populous. There are 1,380 confirmed cases in the county, with 46 reported deaths.
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