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NFL halts daily coronavirus testing for players

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The NFL is halting daily coronavirus testing for all players and personnel, a memo sent out to the teams Friday and obtained by The Associated Press said.

The memo states testing for all players and personnel regardless of vaccination status will now be based on whether individuals present with symptoms. Daily tests are no longer needed.

“Following consultation with our jointly retained infectious disease experts, the NFL and NFL Players Association have updated the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols to eliminate the distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated players to determine testing cadence,” the memo said, according to the AP. “Effective immediately, all players and tiered staff will be subject to strategic and targeted testing.”

Daily testing for vaccinated individuals was stopped in December amid a rise in cases spurred by the omicron variant. 

However, the memo noted that NFL physicians agreed that positive tests went down enough in the league to warrant a different approach to testing.

“This comprehensive, symptom-based approach to testing reflects our recent experience with the omicron variant and conforms to current public health recommendations and best practices employed in healthcare,” the memo stated, according to AP.

It “offers the best opportunity for identifying and treating cases promptly and avoiding spread within the facility.”

The NFL’s move follows an announcement the organization is looking at alternate venues to host the Super Bowl in 2022 due to the coronavirus outbreak in Los Angeles where the event was initially scheduled.  

The Hill has reached out to the NFL for comment. 

Tags COVID-19 pandemic COVID-19 testing Infectious diseases National Football League SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant

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