Potentially good news for NFL fans and teams alike is the announcement that the league has now updated its health and safety protocols in response to an increased number of positive rest results.
While the league’s plans involve increased restrictions in terms of the wearing of masks and vaccination mandates, as well as an end to in-person meals and other facility-based activities, the updated protocols will mean asymptomatic players might make a sooner return to playing than before.
According to a statement issued by the NFL this week, all of the proposed changes are firmly grounded in a medical science-based approach – with safety still the No. 1 goal for players, staff, and fans alike. The statement furthermore confirmed that the updated rules and regulations will apply through Week 15 games – and with the likelihood of a further continuance even after that particular point.
The league’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, said the new variant requires of the league to address the rise of infections as if they were produced by an all-new disease. According to Sills, Omicron is to blame for the sudden and significant increase in positive test results.
In the past, the requirement had been for a vaccinated person to return two negative PCR results 24 hours apart before receiving the all-clear for a return. But since the new protocols allow for either two PCR negatives or two Mesa negatives, the logistics could make for a much faster return.
Sills said the need has now arisen for the world of sport to think differently about how to approach the global health crisis.
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