New rule: No more touching in the Santa Clara County sports community.

The rise in California restrictions due to spiking COVID-19 infection numbers is strongly influencing the sports landscape in the county, which on Saturday issued a ban on all contact sports – games as well as practices – through Dec 21.

The most prominent team affected is the San Francisco 49ers, scheduled for home games Dec. 7 and 13 in Santa Clara. 

Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody warned the “high-speed” coronavirus train will cause the county’s health system to derail by the third week in December ”if we don’t apply brakes, right now with all our collective might.” 

The new measures apply to all professional, college and youth sports teams, among them the San Jose Sharks of the NHL and Stanford and San Jose State universities.

“All recreational activities that involve physical contact or close proximity to persons outside one’s household, including all contact sports, will be temporarily prohibited,” according to the order.

The 49ers’ options may include the Oakland Coliseum, former home of the Raiders; Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants; or an existing NFL team’s stadium.

”We are working with the NFL and our partners on operational plans and will share details as they are confirmed,” the 49ers said in a statement.

Among other games affected:

  • Stanford football, Dec. 12 against Oregon State.
  • Stanford women’s basketball, Monday against San Diego.
  • San Jose State football, Dec. 5, Hawaii; Dec. 11, Nevada. 

The restrictions also require those who have traveled more than 150 miles from Santa Clara County to quarantine for 14 days. The 49ers were playing Sunday against the Rams in Los Angeles but, according to an Associated Press story, they will return from that trip before the rules go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

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