Despite state guidelines allowing audiences at professional sporting events, teams in Santa Clara County won’t be able to welcome fans anytime soon, county leaders said.
Around noon on Tuesday, the state announced new guidelines that allowed counties in the orange tier to allow audiences at 20 percent capacity at professional sporting events.
However, County Executive Jeff Smith said these changes in the guidelines were “really quite dangerous.”
“If you just do the math, 20 percent of the capacity at Levi Stadium means just under 14,000 people could attend a football game,” Smith said. “That means somewhere between 250 and 1,000 people out of those 14,000 people will be infected.”
He said the county wouldn’t allow any “super-spreading events,” because there are communities near the county that have positivity rates as high as 8 percent, and those residents could easily drive to Santa Clara County to attend a sporting event.
In comparison, Santa Clara County has a COVID-19 positivity rate close to 1 percent.
“No question this is dangerous,” Smith said. “This is the worst thing to be doing at a time period when California is beginning to see some light,” Smith said.
The state also allowed theme parks to resume operations for counties in the orange and yellow tier — something Santa Clara County will also not allow.
For counties in the orange tier, only theme parks designated as small by the state can reopen at 25 percent capacity or 500 people, whichever is fewer. Large theme parks in counties in the least-restrictive yellow tier can reopen to 25 percent capacity.
The reopenings come with precautionary guidelines requiring face coverings at all times and screening guests for COVID-19 symptoms.
“This is a step backward,” Smith said. “We have already had steps backward in California that have cost tens of thousands of lives.”