Cal, Stanford work for changes to coronavirus health guidelines
Cal and Stanford are working to receive clearance for the return of full contact, full-squad practices and formulating safety plans that will be acceptable to local health officials.
The Bay Area teams are hoping for the same approval their peers in Southern California received earlier this week, when Los Angeles County announced it would not impose restriction on USC and UCLA that are more severe than those of the state.
“We have not placed other local restrictions or requirements so that means as long as the institution is implementing its athletic program in compliance with all the guidelines within the state document (which also includes a requirement to adhere to all NCAA directives), it is permitted in Los Angeles County,” the health department said in a statement published by ESPN.
In Santa Clara County, where the 49ers have been practicing for weeks, Stanford must submit a proposal to the public health department.
“The state orders and guidelines permit collegiate contact sports only if there is an approved safety plan,” Jeff Smith, the Santa Clara County CEO, told the Hotline on Friday.
“The County PHO (Public health Office) is currently awaiting such a plan proposal from Stanford.”
Stanford did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the timeline to submit a proposal.
In Berkeley, the Bears and city officials are making progress on raising the restrictions on cohort size, according to a source.
The state guidelines had limited cohorts to stable groups of no more than 12, creating an unworkable situation for a football team that must practice 11 vs. 11 with full contact.
However, Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday said he wouldn’t stop the Pac-12 teams from practicing and indicated that the state cohort sizes would be expanded.
The Hotline source did not know when Cal would be cleared by local officials for full-squad workouts.
The City of Berkeley Public Health Department did not respond to a request for comment.
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