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Sports News

NFL enacts COVID intensive protocol for rest of season

The NFL has notified every team that intensive protocol will be put into place Saturday and remain for the rest of the season.

FILE PHOTO: The NFL logo is pictured at an event in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

What had been reserved for teams that had a player, coach or staffer test positive for COVID-19 will be the operational norm in the NFL moving forward.

“The upcoming holidays, beginning with Thanksgiving next week, will introduce new risks of exposure that we need to address now,” commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a memo to teams Wednesday, obtained by multiple media outlets.

“Because we have a highly sophisticated program of daily testing, we know when the virus enters our facilities, which underscores the importance of contact tracing and other steps to minimize close contacts within a facility,” Goodell wrote.

All but four teams have enacted intensive protocol at least once during the season and 16 teams were under stricter measures at least twice.

Under intensive protocol:

--Facemasks must be worn at all times at team facilities, including on the practice field.

--All meetings held virtually unless outdoors or with pre-approval for indoors.

--All players/coaches must have a negative test from previous day to enter facilities.

--Locker room usage discouraged on non-game days.

--Meals served on a grab-and-go basis.

--Limits put on capacity and time in weight rooms.

Intensive protocol was introduced on Oct. 1 to help teams mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

According to the latest testing results announced by the NFL and NFLPA on Tuesday, a total of 95 players and 175 team personnel members had tested positive through Nov. 14 since monitoring began in August.

--Field Level Media

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