December 9, 2022

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The NFL becomes the first major US sports league to drop Covid-19 protocols

The NFL becomes the first major US sports league to drop Covid-19 protocols

The NFL and the NFL have agreed to suspend all Covid-19 protocols, effective immediately, and return teams and players to pre-pandemic operations for the first time since March 2020. The NFL, which is not in season, is the first to Major professional sports leagues in the United States to stop their policies related to the Corona virus.

Players and team members will no longer be required to wear masks inside facilities, adhere to social distancing measures or restrict access within team premises based on vaccination or job function, according to a memo sent to all 32 teams on Thursday, although each team will do so. . You must comply with local laws governing mask states.

The teams are expected to provide an area where on-site PCR tests can be performed for anyone self-reporting coronavirus symptoms, but there will be no mandatory testing rhythm. Those who test positive will be required to isolate for five days, according to current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The memo cited “encouraging trends” regarding the prevalence and severity of Covid-19 cases, the development of guidance from the CDC and changes in state laws as reasons for the change.

New case numbers and hospitalizations has fallen sharply From the peak of the country in January. The NFL said in the memo that it will work with the players’ union and medical experts to monitor whether the protocols need to be fully or partially reimposed.

Zachary Penny, a sports epidemiologist at Oxford College at Emory University in Georgia, said the league’s decision was largely in line with revised CDC guidelines, though he added that the federal agency’s guidance still supported indoor mask use in high-risk areas.

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A PGA Tour spokesperson said the circuit will return next week to access pre-pandemic player facilities including the locker room, dining room and fitness area. The tour stopped testing last summer for players and sacks unless they had symptoms, but they still had limited access to mainly indoor facilities. The NBA and the National Hockey League are among the leagues that relaxed, but not canceled, their protocols in January.

The The NFL has had a wave of cases During the rise of the Omicron variant in the US, with more than 1,200 positive tests recorded among players and staff from December 12 to January 8. Dish. In the final weeks of the 2021 season, the league dropped testing for players who were asymptomatic, regardless of vaccination status.

Nearly 95 percent of players and nearly 100 percent of team members have been vaccinated, according to the NFL. Commissioning in December That all team members who were in close contact with the players receive a booster shot. Last month, the league said only about 10 percent of players got a boost, but that number may have risen since the end of the season.