NFL/NFLPA revised protocols (again)
The Rams are benefitting from the return of players, but that is not simply a random bit of good fortune. The NFL and NFLPA have once again revised the safety protocols of both testing and returning players to the active roster.
Per the video below, both sides have agreed to modify the methods of testing for COVID-19.
In short, a significant majority of fully vaccinated players were either asymptomatic or suffered from very mild symptoms. So what does that all mean? It means that the NFL will no longer be doing 100 percent testing for COVID-19. For the exact memo on the topic, see Ian Rapport’s tweet below:
What it means is that the NFL and NFLPA, in consultation with medical experts, believe the prevalence of the new Omicron variant to be a more contagious but milder form of COVID-19. Therefore, they have agreed to reduce the number of, and the methods used to, test players going forward.
Now, the testing of players is focusing upon “targeted testing.” That is defined per the memo (above) in one of three categories:
I – Symptomatic Individuals: Any fully vaccinated person who reports any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 related symptoms are to be isolated and tested immediately
II – Targetted Testing: The NFL will conduct periodic targetted tests of fully vaccinated players (random sample testing).
III – High-Risk Vaccinated Contact: A vaccinated player who may be in close contact with anyone who tests positive for COVID among staff or players are to be tested per team Chief Medical Officer (CMO) specifications.
IV – Voluntary Testing: Anyone can request a test or home-test kit to test family members at team expense.
Of course, anyone who is not considered fully vaccinated will continue to be tested on a daily basis.
The rules for the booster shot to remain ‘fully vaccinated’ may not be specifically addressed in the latest revision. But the NFL has mandated that Tier 1 (coaches, and trainers) and Tier 2 (general managers and front office staff) must receive a booster shot by December 27, 2021. Due to the consensus of getting a booster six months after the second vaccine, the mandate covers those persons who received the Pfizer or Moderna shot more than six months ago and those who received a Johnson and Johnson shot more than two months ago.
Per several reports, a booster mandate is not yet required of players.
By the time you finish reading this article, there may be more and new developments to this story. Stay tuned.