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Bay Area Pro Teams in Limbo After Local COVID-19 Restrictions Ban Sports Events

 Levi's Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, during a regular season game (Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images)
(Image credit: ESPN )

The COVID-19 pandemic has sacked the San Francisco 49'ers as new pandemic guidelines instituted by Santa Clara Country -- where the team plays its home games -- ban all contact sports for at least three weeks effective Monday, according to reports.

As a result, the team's Dec. 7 Monday Night Football home game against the Buffalo Bills and its Dec. 13 contest against the Washington Football Team will have to be relocated from its Levi's Stadium home field to another location outside the county, according to ESPN.com. The team will also have to find new practice facilities.

The 49'ers Saturday released a statement saying that it is working with the NFL and partners "on operational plans" going forward. 

The ban also affects operations for the NHL's San Jose Sharks as well as local college football and basketball teams.

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The move adds more complications to an NFL schedule significantly altered by the pandemic. The league has had to postpone the Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers Thanksgiving night game twice this week due to increasing positive COVID-19 tests among Ravens players. The game will now be played on Tuesday (Dec. 1)

The league's Ravens-Dallas Cowboys game scheduled for Nov. 3 has also been rescheduled for Dec. 7, according to league officials.

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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.