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NFL to accentuate COVID-19 protocols round Thanksgiving vacation

With Thanksgiving approaching and COVID-19 instances rising once more nationwide, the NFL on Tuesday night time issued a memo to its groups detailing modifications to its COVID-19 protocols, together with necessary testing for all gamers and employees the Monday and Wednesday after the vacation and necessary mask-wearing for all gamers and employees whereas inside membership amenities from Nov. 25 via Dec. 1.

The memo, a duplicate of which was obtained by ESPN, additionally establishes new necessities for surveillance cameras in group amenities for the aim of imposing COVID-19 protocols. The memo says the league has been “periodically reviewing footage from surveillance cameras in membership amenities to make sure Protocol compliance. Self-discipline has been issued in opposition to particular person gamers and golf equipment as warranted.”

Efficient Nov. 29, all NFL groups will likely be required to have video cameras put in of their weight rooms and cafeterias, together with weight rooms which can be outside or in observe bubbles. Groups should retain video from these cameras for 30 days in case the league requests to view it for the aim of discovering out whether or not persons are following masks necessities at group amenities.

NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills stated that 81 gamers and employees members examined optimistic for COVID-19 through the newest testing interval, Oct. 31-Nov. 13, the best caseload of the season. From Sept. 5 via Oct. 30, a complete of 97 gamers and employees members examined optimistic, and the surge that adopted sparked the choice to raise testing and masking insurance policies.

“That wasn’t a complete shock to us,” Sills stated. “As a result of we have stated our numbers within the NFL replicate what is going on in our communities round us. We noticed extra illness in quite a few areas of the nation which can be actually spiking with caseloads. We’re seeing and feeling the impact of that.”

The league is testing roughly 6,500 folks in every testing interval.

The memo appears particularly involved about Thanksgiving. It says NFL groups “are strongly inspired to supply drive-through testing” for family and friends of employees and gamers who will likely be staying or visiting with them for the vacation. “Such testing must be carried out earlier than family and friends work together with gamers and employees.”

All Tier 1 and Tier 2 people, no matter vaccination standing, will likely be Mesa [rapid PCR] examined on Monday, Nov. 29, and Wednesday, Dec. 1. Beneath the present protocols, unvaccinated gamers have to be examined daily and wait for his or her check outcomes to come back again unfavourable earlier than they’re allowed to enter the constructing, whereas vaccinated gamers and employees are examined as soon as per week and do not need to attend for his or her outcomes earlier than getting into. For the week after Thanksgiving, vaccinated people will likely be examined on Monday and Wednesday.

The memo additionally affords reminders about how testing procedures are anticipated to be carried out and in regards to the necessities for mask-wearing for all members of the group touring celebration whereas on buses or airplanes.

In the meantime, Sills stated the NFL and NFLPA have launched a voluntary research of COVID-19 antibody ranges amongst vaccinated gamers and employees to get a greater thought of whether or not immunity is waning. The outcomes may inform a booster shot protocol later within the season, however for now the league is telling golf equipment to comply with state and native tips on booster photographs.

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert contributed to this report.

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