NFL News: League Releases COVID-19 Protocols; Detailed Breakdown On Handling Positive Tests

This past Wednesday the NFL sent all teams COVID-19 protocols for the 2020 training camps and preseason. This detailed breakdown is basically for handling players and team individuals who test positive.

Tom Pelissero, a reporter for the NFL Network tweeted out the detailed sheet the NFL sent out.

If you look closely at the rubric, it breaks down all the different scenarios for exposed individuals and how to handle it. Set at 2 starting points for those exposed: close contact exposure and low and medium risk exposure. Of course, you can figure out what can happen next as the rubric goes deep into details on the protocols.

A. Close Contact Exposure to Symptomatic or COVID-19 Positive Individual

1. PCR virus test as soon as possible (and isolation until results available)

a. If virus test is negative and close contact remains asymptomatic 

1a. Close contact may return to the facility and subject to the following

  • Increased system monitoring and daily PCR virus testing for days 1 to 8
  • And a regular testing schedule thereafter.
  • b. If virus test is positive and individual has no symptoms
    1a. No return unless and until
  • 10 days have passed since the initial positive test
  • OR five days have passed since initial positive test AND two consecutive negative PCR tests separated by 24 hours
  • And return has to be approved by the club physician after consultation with the ICS  and NFL Chief Medical Officer.

c. If virus test is positive and individual is symptomatic
1a. No return unless and until

  • At least 10 days since first COVID symptoms appeared
  • At least 72 hours have passed since symptoms last occurred
  • Return approved by club physician after consultation with the ICS and NFL Chief Medical Officer
  • And local regulations and requirements are satisfied

B. Low or Medium Risk Exposure to Symptomatic or COVID-19 Positive Individual 

  1. Monitor for symptoms and testing as normal testing cadence as defined in the screening and testing protocol

Reading over these guidelines can be somewhat confusing for some. Strict indeed, but it’s a procedure that players and staff will have to get used to heading into the 2020 NFL season. Teams have reportedly had “how-to’s” on workouts and meetings should be conducted. As any job, safety comes first and precautions must be met in order for a successful season and healthy players and staff.

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