NFL and NFL Players Association drop all COVID protocols for 2022 season : Coronavirus updates : NPR

A video message reminds Seattle Seahawks fans to wear masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic in October. The NFL has suspended all aspects of its COVID-19 protocols, citing recent trends showing the spread of the coronavirus is decreasing.

File photo Ted S. Warren/AP


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File photo Ted S. Warren/AP


A video message reminds Seattle Seahawks fans to wear masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic in October. The NFL has suspended all aspects of its COVID-19 protocols, citing recent trends showing the spread of the coronavirus is decreasing.

File photo Ted S. Warren/AP

The NFL and the NFL Players Association announced Wednesday that they have agreed to suspend all COVID-19 protocols for the 2022 football season, effective immediately.

In a memo released by the league, the NFL and players’ association announced the suspension, which means the NFL will no longer conduct mandatory testing for any of its players and staff.

The league cites “encouraging trends regarding the prevalence and severity of COVID-19, evolving CDC guidance, changes to state law, and advice from our respective experts” as reasons for changing protocols. COVID.

With the protocol change, players and staff will no longer be required to wear face coverings at team facilities, regardless of their vaccination status. Each club, however, can require face coverings “if they choose to do so”.

Going forward, the league says players and staff should continue to monitor themselves for any symptoms of COVID-19 “daily” before entering an NFL facility, according to the memo.

Anyone showing symptoms should report it to the team and present proof of a negative test before entering an NFL facility. However, those who test positive must self-isolate for five days after their test.

League officials say they will continue to “prioritize the health and safety of players, coaches and staff”, as they have done since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If there is a reason to reimpose aspects of the protocols or take other action, we will work closely with clubs, the NFLPA and our respective experts, as well as local, state and federal health officials. public to continue to protect the health of the NFL community,” the league said in its memo, according to NFL’s Tom Pelissero.

The NFL continued the memo by emphasizing that teams must remain “in compliance with state and local law” and are “free to continue to take reasonable steps to protect their staff and players.”

The news in Thursday’s league memo comes after two NFL seasons were played under protocols implemented by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While no NFL games were canceled in the 2020 and 2021 seasons due to COVID-19, many teams ended up moving games to the 2020 schedule, according to The Associated Press. Nearly 95% of NFL players and about 100% of NFL staff have been fully vaccinated, the AP reported.

Andrew B. Reiter