Santa Clara won't reopen Levi's Stadium for 49ers' home games despite new COVID-19 guidelines

According to the state’s tiered reopening plan, the county is in the 'moderate' range of COVID-19 spread

The California Health and Human Services agency provided guidelines for fans if they want to attend San Francisco 49ers’ home games at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the county of Santa Clara shut down that plan. According to the state’s tiered reopening plan, the county is in the “moderate” range of COVID-19 spread.

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The 49ers would only be allowed to have 20 percent capacity, or about 13,000 fans. If Santa Clara County reaches the "minimal" designation of COVID-19 cases, then the stadium could increase to 25 percent capacity.

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However, on Tuesday, Santa Clara County Executive Dr. Jeff Smith disagreed with the idea.

“It makes no sense whatsoever to have audiences at stadiums, particularly when there is a model to do it without audiences in a much safer way so that the only individuals who'd be put at risk are players, the refs, and their families [who are] getting constant tests," Smith said. "Putting an audience in a stadium in large groups is just asking for trouble. It's like a Petri dish."

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Smith said that the 120-mile rule means Californians in other areas experiencing spikes in positives tests could head to football and soccer games, and all attendees will be using the same entrances, bathrooms, and concessions stands, which could easily trigger more spreading of the virus.

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“Audiences at professional sporting events will not be allowed anytime soon in Santa Clara County, and theme parks will not resume operation,” the Public Health Department of Santa Clara said in a statement.

“We must all continue to prioritize reducing the spread of COVID-19, creating conditions that will allow our businesses, schools, and other organizations to operate safely. As we see COVID-19 rates rising in states across the U.S., and as we enter the winter months when risks will increase, we cannot take chances with the health and wellbeing of our community and forfeit the many sacrifices that have been made to slow the spread of COVID-19."