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The sun sets over the scoreboard at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, in October 2014. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images/TNS)

 The 49ers might not be able to practice at their Santa Clara facility or host games at Levi's Stadium in the coming weeks.

That announcement was made Saturday by James Williams, counsel for Santa Clara County, in a news briefing as the county's public health department announced new COVID-19 protocols amid the growing number of new cases in the area and decreased availability of hospital beds.

Per the county's new health guidelines, contact sports will be prohibited in the county for a minimum of the next three weeks. That means the 49ers, Stanford football team, San Jose State football team and the San Jose Sharks will all be impacted, at the least.

"The update today for the professional sports and collegiate sports directive will temporarily suspend activities that require direct physical contact or interaction in Santa Clara," Williams said. "So that means that for those teams, they will not be able to play games or have practices where they have direct contact within the county."

The 49ers have three remaining home games on their regular-season schedule: against Buffalo on Monday, Dec. 7, Washington on Sunday, Dec. 13 and the season finale Sunday, Jan. 3 against Seattle. Alternative sites for practices and games were not immediately known.

The team Saturday afternoon issued a statement: "We are aware of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department's emergency directive. We are working with the NFL and our partners on operational plans and will share details as they are confirmed."

The new rules also include a 14-day quarantine for anybody who travels back to the county after going 150 miles or more, though this rule will take effect after the 49ers return from their game with the Rams.

Williams said the county has been in contact with the 49ers regarding the shutdown of their facilities but would not elaborate on their discussions. The organization agreed to strict protocols with the county, state and NFL to begin the season over the summer despite the municipality recommending against the gathering of large groups.

Saturday's news came roughly 24 hours before the team was scheduled to take on the Rams in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon.

 

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