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NFL Institutes Enhanced Protocols for Exposed Teams

Paul Steinbach

The NFL implemented a series of enhanced protocols Thursday for teams to follow after exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

As reported by ESPN, the league has been dealing with an outbreak among the Tennessee Titans and potential transmission to the Minnesota Vikings following their game Sunday. A total of 13 Titans employees, including six players, have returned positive tests for COVID-19 in the past week. The Titans closed their practice facility and their game Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers will be rescheduled for later this season.

Related: Titans, Vikings Close Facilities Over Virus Cases

The enhanced protocols include two daily tests; one is the traditional PCR (nasal swab) test and the other is a POC (point of care) test that returns faster results. All Tier 1 and Tier 2 employees must test negative on the POC test before entering the facility.

PPE and face masks must also be worn by all players and coaches on the practice field and gloves must be worn by everyone except quarterbacks on their throwing hand. All meetings must be virtual and there will also be daily deep cleanings of the facility. The protocols also include a prohibition on team or player gatherings away from the facility.

NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills will determine whether and for how long teams must follow the post-exposure protocols. Whether they are exposed or not, all NFL employees were urged by the memo to "act as if every person you come into contact with has a COVID infection and take appropriate precautions," according to ESPN.

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