The 49ers have received permission from Santa Clara County officials to open training camp on time Thursday at the team’s practice facility near Levi’s Stadium, sources told NBC Sports Bay Area.
Neither the county nor the 49ers issued an announcement of the agreement for camp to open on time, but the sides have been known to be in constant communication during the coronavirus pandemic. The groups have engaged in recent virtual conferences to discuss concerns and answer questions.
One of the issues county health officials raised was the concern that COVID-19 tests for 49ers players, coaches and staff members would impact the community. But the NFL partnered with BioReference Laboratories, which will handle the testing for all 32 teams. The 49ers’ 40-foot trailer for testing has been on site since Friday.
The 49ers’ rookies, quarterbacks and injured players are scheduled to report to Santa Clara on Thursday for testing. Those players will self-isolate on Friday and Saturday before taking a second test on Sunday. Those with two negative tests are allowed to attend the team’s facility on Monday for physicals, be fitted for equipment and begin working out.
The rest of the veteran players are scheduled to report on Tuesday, July 28, for COVID-19 testing. Those players will isolate the next two days before taking a second test on July 31. Those with two negative tests are allowed to report back the team’s training complex on Saturday, Aug. 1.
All players will undergo daily testing from Day 5 through Day 14 of training camp. If the positive test rates for players, coaches and staff members with close contact to the football team is below five percent, testing will move to every other day after two weeks.
For many of the new 49ers players, it will be their first time in Santa Clara. The NFL canceled the offseason programs for every team this spring, as all meetings were held via video conferencing.
At a time when there are still restrictions on businesses, indoor operations and large-group gatherings, some county officials believe players from the nation’s most high-profile sport have the platform to set an example for the community by being shown wearing masks during workouts, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area.
The 49ers have made many alterations to their practice facility to account for new requirements on social distancing. Areas of the facility have been cordoned off for all but the top two tiers of team employees. The 49ers also have the option of creating more space with the usage of multiple locker rooms at Levi’s Stadium.
Hand sanitizer stations are set up throughout the team’s offices, weight room, locker room and cafeteria. Hallways have been set up with arrows on the floors to direct foot traffic and encourage individuals to remain more than six feet apart.
All tables and chairs have been removed from the team’s cafeteria, and the cafeteria workers will be stationed behind plexiglass to fill food orders in takeout containers.
It is still undetermined when official on-field workouts can begin during training camp. The NFL and the players union have agreed to cancel the exhibition season.
The 49ers' first game is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 13, against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium.