The NFL and NFLPA informed clubs Monday of a significant changes to their COVID-19 protocols.
Moving forward, individuals that come into “high risk” exposure with a COVID-19 positive individual must quarantine themselves for at least five days. They must do so even if they test negative initially and are asymptomatic.
A major change to the NFL-NFLPA protocols distributed to clubs Monday: Anyone with "high risk" close contact exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual must be isolated for at least 5 days, even if the person is negative and remains asymptomatic. pic.twitter.com/VBYoFAKmWx— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 13, 2020
To return to their respective clubs, individuals quarantining under these circumstances must produce daily negative test results and receive approval from ICS and the NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills.
Hypothetically, if a player or staff member were to come in a risky, close contact situation with an individual on Tuesday of a game week, they would miss a game on Sunday regardless of their symptoms.
The mandatory isolation is not the only change the league and NFLPA made to their protocols this week. Masks will be required during all walk-through practices, exceptions have been made to they bye-week policy and its testing requirements and NFL security will now be conducting protocol compliance checks starting in Week 7. Clubs will be required to submit internal video as a part of such check if prompted.
These adjustments to the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols come in the wake of recent outbreaks among the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots. The Titans has their Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers postponed until Week 7 while the Patriots will now host their matchup with the Denver Broncos originally set for Week 5 on Oct. 18.
In a release Tuesday, the NFL and NFLPA announced 15 new positive cases stemming from their last period of testing. Eight of the positives were players, while the other seven were of staff.