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
August 12, 2020
By Amy Tennery
(Reuters) – NFL players can expect daily COVID-19 testing through Sept. 5, the players’ union said on Wednesday ahead of the season kickoff next month.
The league has conducted 109,075 COVID-19 tests among players, staff and coaches since the start of training camps through Tuesday, NFL Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills told reporters on Wednesday, with an overall positive rate 0.46% and a positive rate among players of 0.81%.
Sills said a total of 53 new positives were confirmed among players upon their intake into training camp last month.
Sills added that he was not aware of any individual who was “seriously ill” from a COVID-19 positive, adding that not every positive necessarily meant a person was “actively infected.”
“Our goal is all the same: to have the safest possible environment for everyone,” said Sills. “We want to try to ensure that there’s no-one – player, coach, staff member, official, anyone – who steps onto a field with an active COVID infection.”
The league continues to enforce social distancing measures ahead of its Sept. 10 season start.
More than 60 players have opted out of playing this season, according to media reports, amid the new coronavirus pandemic that upended professional sports earlier this year.
The Washington Football Team said on Tuesday it would not allow any fans to attend out of an “abundance of caution,” but added that it would re-evaluate the decision if conditions improved, becoming the latest franchise to limit – or ban outright – spectators at games.
But the Dallas Cowboys, which in July was again ranked by Forbes as the most valuable sports team in the world, “plan on playing all of our football games and we plan on playing them in front of our fans” at AT&T Stadium, owner Jerry Jones told reporters on Wednesday.
“Our safety precautions that we are doing won’t be unfamiliar to a lot of people when we look at the general protocol of the country,” said Jones.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Ken Ferris)