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NFL teams can reopen facilities next week

That’s if protocols are met and local regulations allow

San Francisco 49ers Levi’s Stadium Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo out to teams on Friday about reopening their facilities. Goodell wrote that clubs could use their facilities starting Tuesday, provided they meet a pre-established set of protocols and have permission under state and local regulations. Teams that are not ready or permitted to open by then can do so as soon as they meet the necessary criteria.

For the San Francisco 49ers, no more than 50% of non-player staff, and up to a total of 75 per day, would be allowed to return to the facilities. As far as the players go, those who were already rehabilitating injuries before the facility closed can return. No members of the coaching staff are allowed to return unless it’s a strength and conditioning coach that was already participating in the players’ rehab.

Here is Goodell’s statement on the first phase:

“This first phase of reopening is an important step in demonstrating our ability to operate safely and effectively, even in the current environment. After we implement this first phase, and as more states and localities enact policies that allow more club facilities to reopen, I expect that additional staff, likely including coaching staff, will be allowed to return to club facilities in a relatively short time.”

Levi’s Stadium has been closed since March 13. If the 49ers want to deploy staff to more than one location, all locations must implement the same health and safety protocols, and the combined number of employees at all locations can’t exceed 75. This is dependent on the state. Santa Clara County is the lone Bay Area county that hasn’t entered Phase 2, which allows retail to reopen with only curbside pickup, child care, manufacturing, and logistics. Phase 3 will reopen movie theaters, religious services, and more personal and hospitality services. Finally, Phase 4 reopen areas of highest risks: concerts, conventions, and sports arenas.

It’s impossible to project when Phase 4 will happen. We’re a little over two months from training camp, and it doesn’t seem like Phase 4 is even an option. We’ll see, but as coronavirus cases continue to spike across the state, I’m not holding my breath. According to that link, Santa Clara County has the fourth-most cases in the state.