NFL and NFLPA point out that vaccinated need fewer tests in new COVID protocol

Fewer tests, but better selected vaccinated personnel and players that specifically show signs of the virus

The NFL and the NFLPA announced on Saturday the new protocols COVID-19 that They will reduce the frequency with which vaccinated and asymptomatic players and staff are tested. The new protocols will go into effect after the conclusion of the current week’s games.

“The NFL and NFLPA have engaged with our medical advisers to address the emergence of the new variant of Omicron and how to stop the spread to ensure everyone’s safety and let’s complete the rest of the season responsibly, “the NFL and NFLPA said in a joint statement.

“The intensive protocols implemented last week and the rescheduling of three games are to stop the transmission of the virus and play this week’s games safely. After this weekend, we agreed to implement a new set of protocols, which will include a more specific testing plan, more flexibility for players to attend meetings virtually, and also an option to opt out of high-risk players for the remainder of the season. “

Under the original 2021 COVID protocols, vaccinated players and staff were required to be tested every week. The new program removes that requirement and moves to a system where vaccinated players and staff will be more strictly screened for COVID symptoms and tests will be done less frequently. Any vaccinated individual who shows symptoms will be isolated and screened immediately, while those who do not show symptoms will be subject to what the league and players union describe as “targeted testing,” in which a specific group of people will be screened for a week, another the next, etc.

In addition, players may undergo voluntary tests of COVID-19 as often as they like, and teams will distribute home test kits that players can use for themselves or the people who live with them.

There is no change in protocol for unvaccinated players, who remain subject to daily testing.

The new protocols also allow players in high-risk categories, such as those with serious pre-existing health problems, to opt out of the remainder of the campaign if they feel uncomfortable with the rule changes. Those who wish to opt-out must do so in writing by 2pm ET on Monday, December 20, and will not be paid for the remainder of the 2021 games.