The travel advisories issued jointly late last week by the governors of California, Oregon and Washington are not expected to impact Pac-12 football teams located in those states.
The advisories “urge against non-essential out-of-state travel, ask people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country and encourage residents to stay local,” according to a statement posted on the website of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
A conference source pointed to the non-binding nature of the advisories and to the Pac-12’s health and safety precautions.
“We’re looking into it, but at this time we do not think this will impact our games as scheduled,” said the source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic.
“To date, our teams have and continue to receive testing prior to travel and upon arrival to each location, as well as use of physical protective measures during travel and upon arrival.”
Conference policy requires all players and coaches to receive point-of-care testing the day of travel, with results available before prior to boarding or departure.
A spokesperson for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee seemed to support the conference’s position in a statement issued to KING 5 in Seattle:
“These are recommendations, not requirements, so there is not an enforcement element to this. Collegiate sports are already governed by their own health guidance and will continue to follow those protocols.”
While the travel advisories seemingly won’t affect the Pac-12, which has eight teams in the three states, there is less clarity on the potential impact of tightening local restrictions.
In the Bay Area, for example, Santa Clara County is expected to move to an elevated safety level this week — either Red Risk Tier or possibly the most extreme, the Purple Risk Tier, according to San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.
When the county was in Red in early October, Stanford was not permitted to practice on campus.
Instead, the Cardinal spent several days working out at Woodside High School in nearby San Mateo County.
It returned to campus for practice only when Santa Clara County dropped into the less-restrictive Orange Risk Tier.
Asked for the status of practices this week, the university issued the following statement:
“Stanford Athletics remains in contact with Santa Clara County as we strive to create an opportunity for all of our student-athletes to safely train and compete in their 2020-21 season.
“We appreciate the county’s continued leadership and remain prepared to adjust accordingly based on updated guidance.
“We will continue to evaluate the rapidly-changing landscape while prioritizing the safety, health and well-being of our entire community.”
Stanford players are tested nine times per week. The program hasn’t recorded a positive test since practice began in early October.